December 30, 2013

Noir. Academy - A Year In

I took over as the official CEO of Noir. Academy in February of 2013 after a few weeks of unofficial leadership. To be honest, I only became CEO because I was willing to help and there wasn't anyone else able to put the effort in at the time, but I'm really glad I volunteered. I've learned a lot over the last year, and it's taken a lot of effort to ensure that the resulting training curriculum was of a high enough standard, but it was a very rewarding experience in the end.

I've not been able to be as hands on this last year as I wish. When I first started, I worked from home part time and played EVE a lot. I was always there, and it was a very fresh, new experience for me. I had a very high level of interaction with the students at the time. In June, about five months after I became the CEO, I got a new job that has me away from home about six weeks at a time with a two week break (as I've mentioned before in this blog). I work seven days a week while I'm gone, too, which doesn't leave me much time to play EVE. And if it weren't bad enough having to play EVE on a laptop when I'm on the road, my first two assignments (from July to the end of September basically), I had no internet.

During this time, I had to remain effective as the CEO while not being able to login very much. Instead, I focused my time on the high level organization and structure of the Academy. This was sort of a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to revamp many integral issues with the Academy that weren't as present when I was always online and was putting a lot more man hours into the students. Viewing the curriculum from a more hands-off approach, I was able to better see what could be pared down and made more efficient. The downside of this was that I had no person relationship with my students and had to rely on my instructors completely, making them bear the burdens.

I think that we're now at a very good point in the Academy, where there is a lot of structure while still being free form and independent, where students have to show initiative but can fall back on more veteran players when they need. The last big hurdle that I'm trying to overcome is that Noir. Academy isn't Noir. I feel that by flying with Noir. so often over the last year they've lost sight of the fact that they're not mercenaries. They're students. They're not experts yet, they're amateurs. That feeling isn't there when you get to go on contract with everyone else. There also wasn't any real push to get students to complete their objectives on their own. That's changing January 1st where there is now a time limit, although it's quite ample.

My goals for Noir. Academy in the coming year are to get it to a place where it can be self sufficient. Where it's not a part of the NMG. Alliance any more, officially, and operates independent of Noir. That's going to take a lot more work, but if we can get to that point, I think we'll be the best PvP training corporation in all of EVE Online.

Happy New Year, everyone.