Magazine article Black Enterprise

No Small Change. (Career at A Glance)

Magazine article Black Enterprise

No Small Change. (Career at A Glance)

Article excerpt

There have been many casualties from the crash and burn of dotcoms, but Joyce Harris, division chief for the U.S. Mint's Website (www.usmint.gov), sits securely counting her coins. During her first month on the job, which is the equivalent to an executive producer or Web director position in the private sector, she couldn't help but notice that there were few visitors to the Internet site. "The door to your enterprise should have a grand presentation. I wanted to entice people and let them know this was not only an informational site, but [also] included products."

Harris redesigned the front page and developed a children's section with interactive games and lesson plans for teachers. It is now mentioned as one of the best educational sites for kids by the London Financial Times. Over a year and a half, she has been the catalyst for taking the site from obscurity to one of the top 30 e-commerce sites in the country, according to the National Retail Federation. In 2000, the U.S. Mint Website made $156 million in sales to coin collectors. Presently, the Internet site receives, on average, one million visitors per month.

Background: This Howard University grad began her career in newspapers, making the transition from print to programming while working at Gannett as a former assistant news editor at USAToday.com.

Transition: "When I left to go upstairs to the information network--that's what we were calling USAToday.com back then--some of my colleagues joked about what I'd be doing in two years when I was out of a job. …

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