As many of you know, the month of November in the Tallahassee- Leon County area is E-month (entrepreneurship month). The past couple weeks at INIE I have been working on our engagement in this. I have been attending meetings with my mentor who is on the E-month board at the Office of Economic Vitality. It has been really interesting to see the engagement between all the partners. Everyone is working together to further the presence, value, and recognition of entrepreneurship in the community while also furthering their own organizations interests. I can see benefit across the board. INIE recognizes the importance of nonprofits and social enterprises being a part of this, to help close the gap between the sectors for profit, nonprofit, and socially innovative businesses. My mentor has put me in charge of a Social Entrepreneurship Meetup event that will be held in our space. It will be a mixer event where people have the opportunity to converse and connect with others in the community with similar goals and mindsets. I have been working on contacting local social enterprises to attend as well as students who have genuine interest in this field. So if any of you reading this would be interested in this event, it’s Monday Nov 7th, from 5:30-7. Come out! It will be a great time!
I was admittedly reluctant to post this second blog just yet. Since my last blog post, the progress with our RedEye internship has almost come to a halt. Mary and I have exhausted every venue option possible and either it is too late to enter, they do not allow food trucks or they are not financially viable. On top of the lack of venue options, it seems as if Mark’s barista trainer may have forgotten about Mary and I; not only does this slow down our progress towards operating the mobile cafe, but it adds to the frustration that Mary and I share.
Hopefully the near future brings us success with RedEye. Although my internship group with RedEye consists of just myself and Mary, I am confident that the two of us will be able to navigate this internship successfully, we just have not had much of a chance yet.
Questions I’ve Had Thus Far:
- What is my role as an intern to Domi?
- How do I use my knowledge of leadership and growth and apply it to my position?
- What areas can I grow in while at Domi?
- What am I taking away from this so far?
In asking myself these questions during my 5 weeks at Domi, I’ve been able to have better reflection and insight into my experience. Each day I go into Domi I am genuinely excited and ready to begin my role as the Project Management Intern. When engaging in the agency 4 days a week, for at least each 5 hour shifts, I get to be part of such an amazing process of facilitating growth and development for Tallahassee’s entrepreneurial community. I’ve begun working with two other interns to develop a better marketing of Domi and publicize the innovation that happens each week during a typical Domi day, working with Dominick Ard’is to facilitate the weekly Get Started program for businesses, and working to help create a feedback system for the weekly One Million Cups pitches. I think that my experience thus far at Domi has been rewarding and challenging in that I have been able to have space to create on my own, while being guided in productivity.
150 members, 200+ business entrepreneurs, 3 directors, and 3 interns. All with one objective: to build the vision and mission of social entrepreneurs into a tangibly innovative business, while creating a family of networks. My first week interning at Domi was the exposure to this realization, as well as the realization that I had the chance to be part of this wonderful process.
At its core, Domi can be divided into two sectors: the physical space and the innovation. Within the physical space, Domi provides co-working space for entrepreneurs to have 24/7 access to the facility, similar to that of Google Headquarters.. Maybe not so much in the wealth, but in the youth and innovative atmosphere. The second component is the innovation. As Tallahassee’s main incubation agency, the 150+ members at Domi are all exposed to a network of mentors and staff to guide their startup process.
So as a quick recap to my experience during my first week of Domi, here are some highlighted points I enjoyed:
- Domi offers free Catalina Cafè to its members
- During “creative breaks” the staff encourages members of Domi to either walk to the FAMU park, play ping pong, or grab a drink with fellow entrepreneurs.
- I get to be part of working under the Director of Incubation and Programming, Dominick Ard’is to work with Co-Starters’ program “Get Started“.
- My official title is “Project Management Intern”.
- I know I will learn such depth and professional development under Dominick’s leadership.
Until next post, I hope to find color and adventure with this internship.
Always with best,
My experience so far with Girls on the Run of the Big Bend (GOTR-BB) has been like no other internship I have encountered. My mentor is Ericka and she is the Executive Director of GOTR for the big bend region. This internship is different from others I have been involved with in that Ericka keeps you motivated, learning and organized. When we first sat down she explained to me that this internship is catered to my wants, that where I would like experience she would “plug me in” to the appropriate area to learn as much as I wanted. I chose to focus on Event Coordination, Grant Writing, and Finances. Keeping my goals in mind she assigns me weekly tasks or assignments that incorporate the needs of the organization and my personal objectives.I am assigned anywhere from 5-10 different tasks to accomplish typically on a Monday which outlines the due dates summary of the task and one or two ideas to help with compiling a plan of attack.
Typically I am given complete control over accomplishing all tasks. These tasks range from emailing people within the non-profit to confirm logistics for events, requesting or picking up marketing items, presenting information about the semester during monthly meetings and even locating and securing awards for the end of semester volunteer banquet. This week, for example I am continuing the coordination of a Veterans Day Service Event. This week my most involved task has been to search, contact and secure donations for the event. Ericka, provides me the framework and I submit to her the details for her to review and then I am in charge of contacting the appropriate board member or lead coordinator to handle the ins and outs of each task that I focus on, this will eventually lead to the entire Veterans Day event. I receive enough feedback to do well on each task, although sometimes it takes multiple drafts to get it just right. I also get to see where my work is sent or displayed as it relates to the whole GOTR organization.
I am interning with Girls on the Run of the Big Bend. I have learned so much about the program and I am excited to be apart of the advancement of this nationally recognized non-profit.
Girls on the Run is a curriculum based program for girl ranging from 3rd grade- 8th grade. It starts with a site, in the big bend area, most of these are based in elementary schools; although, there is a site within a local gym and one middle school program. Once a site has been approved the GOTR staff finds volunteers who commit to being coaches to teach the curriculum at the sites and then interested girls are identified and the program is ready to begin.
I had the chance to visit a site recently to observe how the curriculum is presented and the impact it makes on the girls. The girls would preform stretches, and warm up exercises; typical to that of any physical program. The exciting part happened when the lesson began, the lesson I observed was in summary covering how to respond to a difficult situation such as peer-pressure. The coaches taught the girls to 1. stop, and take deep breaths 2. Think about the right thing to do. 3 respond in a respectful way 4. reflect on why that was a good choice. Each step was given a motion to do cement the idea in the girls head. Then the activity came, girls where instructed to run around and when the signal was given to create a circle and preform the movements in sync to really get the concepts down packed. Following this activity the girls where taken to a grassy area to do laps. During these laps coaches would “play a game of tag” and when “you where tagged it” the coach would give the individual girl a compromising situation and ask her how she would handle it. One I remembered was, “What do you do if your friend is in the lunch line and tells you to steal an extra cookie with her?” . I specifically remember this question because a girl who had not initially spoken much answered, “I would tell my friend that I do not feel comfortable doing that because it is not right and taking things that do not belong to you bad and tell her I do not think that you should either because you are my friend and I do not want you to get in any trouble, then I would ask her how she would feel if someone took something that belonged to her”.
When I heard this seemingly timid young girl respond with such enthusiasm and pride I recognized the empowerment that the GOTR organization provides for such an impressionable time in a young girls life. After hearing each girl who volunteered to answer there question in front of the group, all I could imagine was the capabilities of each girl and how they were on the path to become leaders and change makers of society. Once the lesson ended the girls did a cheer and ended in a compacted circle, putting all there hands in the middle shouting, on the count of 3, “GIRLS ON THE RUN IS SO MUCH FUN!”
To read more about the non-profit, please visit the website: http://www.gotrbigbend.org/who-we-are
This past week went very well. I would say the highlight was being able to meet with Linda, my Knowledge Navigator(mentor) and discuss my progress on my projects. As I spoke about in my previous post, during the internship I’ve realized how difficult it is to create and develop something new, without any blueprints or extensive instructions. Gratefully Linda helps guide me with my projects while still challenging me to think critically. One of my main projects is to develop an operational manual for replicating The Apprenticeship Center (TAC), like that of a franchisee operational manual. During our meeting I started reviewing the outline I had been working on and discussing the essential components and business processes that makeup TAC. Linda really helped me by encouraging me to focus on who my audience is. She helped me realize my audience may include funders, community leaders, students, higher education institutions, and various others. She encouraged me to imagine that I have people who have agreed to start a new TAC but now want to know how TAC really works and how we are going to approach implementing it in a new community. At the end of the semester, I will put together a presentation to describe the implementation process and Linda will have business and community leaders evaluate my presentation.