So today I went to Proof Brewing Company (& you thought you couldn’t go to a bar while on the job), to pick up some spent grain for Lucy & Doodle’s Beer Bones. I’ve been to Proof before, but on the other side of the bar, if you know what I mean. But today I got to go in the production area and see the dozens of pounds of spent grain they have left over from each time they brew and take a bucket back to the office to use for our Beer Bones (yes I’m emphasizing that because it’s cool & if you don’t think it’s cool you aren’t cool). So for those of you guys who don’t know:
1. That’s really freaking cool so you should be impressed.
2. Spent grain is a byproduct of the brewing process.
Proof Brewing Company production room.
Spent grain from Proof Brewing Company’s Ghost Totem Porter brew.
So these dozens of pounds of spent grain get thrown away if no one claims them, that’s why Proof was so willing to partner with Lucy & Doodle to include spent grain in our beer ones. So you’re probably thinking “But beer is poisonous to dogs… right?” Yes, you’re right. Please don’t try to give your dog a bowl of beer. But the spent grain, is the byproduct of the beer and doesn’t include any hops (which is the poisonous part), so it is perfectly healthy for pup consumption. Another cool part is that were packaging our beer bones in, get this: beer bottles. So these things are gonna fly off the shelves right? I hope so, because more sold = more money to spay and neuter pets = one step closer to ending pet overpopulation.
But I’ve been doing other things besides just going to bars and playing with dogs. My market research projects for both Lucy & Doodle and Be the Solution are in full swing! We plan to deploy our online surveys for Lucy & Doodle sometime next week and to start handing out our paper surveys for Be the Solution this weekend. Unfortunately, we are a little behind on the Be the Solution research, I originally hoped to have time to create the surveys, deploy them, implement a social media marketing campaign in response to the results, and track the impact it had. However, we ran into some problems with IRB approval, and that set us back some time and I no longer think I will have enough time to analyze the impact the social media marketing campaign will have on Be the Solution.
All in all, I feel like Be the Solution and Lucy & Doodle are doing great things and not only am I happy to be a part of it, I’m having fun.
Being an intern should be an easy task. However, being an intern that goes above and beyond while still finding time to understand the core of what they’re working on, how that environment is built and why things move the way they do is anything but easy. This is the type of intern I hope to be at the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence. Understanding why is not always the most important aspect when dealing in a corporate setting, but is integral to the nature of my task as a student. Because of this, I hope to act and learn in a way that not only help’s INIE with it’s needs but also service my own missions. These missions are:
- Get a better understanding of how nonprofits receive funding and what exactly a business model for a nonprofit looks like.
- Network with businesses that are either members of INIE or go to INIE events.
- Learn basic workplace skills and habits that might not be mentioned in school.
- Complete my assignments with high quality and in a timely manner.
So far at INIE, I have been assigned some very interesting tasks. Aside from setting up for events, I have been handed two larger projects to work on. One of them has been the Big Bend Giving Tuesday website. Assigned as website manager, I updated and added a few plugins to the website. This was something that I understood how to do well and had previous experience with doing so it came quite easy. The other task assigned to me is to develop a membership campaign. This meant that I had to research customer retention practices along with new ways to acquire customers and get back former customers along with a timeline of implemenation. I haven’t had much experience with customer service so this was definitely something I had to put a lot of research into. Over a few work days I developed a plan that drew a lot from my online research. Both supervisors were very pleased with my work plan and asked me to create a one-page action plan that they could give to the board.
Currently, work at INIE so far has been a little slow, as Alexa, the Membership and Events Manager and my supervisor, has been on vacation. However, as it is still early on, I am hoping that when she comes back there will be more to do. Because I mentioned my interest in consulting, Alexa said when she has client meetings (that overlap with my schedule) I could come along and even participate in discussion. I feel like when I go on these meetings I will have a much better understanding what a consulting firm like INIE is tasked with doing and the types of ways they go about exciting their assignment. I count on this exposure to help me understand if consultancy is still a career path I wish to go down. I am so far enjoying what I have done at INIE and am excited to see what the rest of the semester has to offer.
So I started my internship with Be the Solution about 3 weeks ago. If you can even say it is an internship just for Be the Solution, I’m not only working with Be the Solution but also their dog treat bakery Lucy & Doodle. Oh and I work from Lynne’s office at LAT Creative , so I’m kind of an intern there too. Yeah, It’s basically a “multitasking internship.” But, don’t get me wrong, I love it.
My first week was a lot of dog treat websites… I mean a lot. Borderline too many. My task was to complete some market research for the launch of the Lucy & Doodle website. Translation: I had to look up pretty much every dog treat company even close to successful and try and figure out what made them successful. What do people like about them? What common verbage do they use? And then I wrote website copy based on what I found. (Apparently “website copy” means the words on a website, yeah I didn’t know that either).
After successfully finishing that, and by finishing I mean writing as much as I could think of and asking Lynne if I was on the right track, I met Gerry for the first time. (She’s the founder of Be the Solution) Lynne and I thought it was a good idea to pitch to Gerry a way to include my sociological background into my internship. I created a research plan to help Be the Solution understand more of the cultural factors behind people not spaying/neutering their pets; and Gerry loved it. Lynne loved it too, and now I’m doing research for both companies. Is that an awesome opportunity for me to showcase my talent? Yes. Am I excited? Yes. Do I think it will help both Be the Solution and Lucy & Doodle with their branding? Yes. Is it going to be a lot of work in a little amount of time? Also yes.
In between doing all of that, I sort of “observe” Lynne in running her business, LAT Creative. Just from interacting with her I feel like I have already learned a lot. The way she handles herself, her clients, her interns, and her projects is very inspirational to me and I hope to continue to learn from her. Right now she’s in the middle of making a pop-up book, yeah you read that right a graphic designer is making a pop-up book. (The people who make pop-up books for a living are called Paper Engineers, and believe me that is an understatement). With the amount of effort and creative design she has put into it I’m sure it is going to turn out amazing, and I’m excited to see it.
So even though I feel like I’m up to my neck in work, school, and everything else life throws at you, I’m having a good time swimming in it and I can’t wait to see what I have to show for it at the end of the semester when the water drains down and I can breath again.