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Moving the Ball Forward: What I Learned Interning with SLF

Aug 25 1:01 pm

by Karrie Larsson

When I first heard that my internship with Somerville Local First was to be dominated by working on this website and blog, I was a little skeptical. To be honest, I had an underlying fear that the new SLF site would end up kind of like the last one: lost in the black hole that is the Internet.

Luckily, this was the not case. Over the past several months, I’ve been able to see ideas and sketches materialize into a fully functioning website that is helping spread the message of the local movement. Community members cannot only use this website as a resource for information on the benefits of buying locally, but also as place to connect. Everything from the blog, to the Shift and Save Coupons, to the Member Directory is helping reinforce the growing network of people and businesses associated with SLF.  The fact that I was a part of making this possible has definitely made my time with SLF a gratifying experience.

SLF Interns Helping us Move the Movement Forward

It has also been a valuable one from which I will take away an important lesson. When first explaining how things work at SLF to me, my boss/mentor/sensei Joe Grafton said, “We are always moving the ball forward.” Over the summer, I dropped my procrastinating tendencies as I learned exactly what he meant: When pursuing an idea, act on it. If something does not work, understand why it didn’t, and then move on. Constantly outreach and interact- don’t let things rest idle. For example, this mindset was really essential for my work on the blog. Scheduling posts required advance planning and ongoing communication with contributors. I had to be on my toes when editing content and familiarizing myself with the blog world. Where as previously I would have kept delaying and dragging along the work, I was now forced to be active and diligent in my approach. Otherwise, this site would have most certainly entered that dreaded black hole.

I now realize that it is this philosophy of keeping the ball rolling that has enabled the success of the website, and the success of SLF as an organization. The people and businesses behind SLF are always asking the question “what next?” And I encourage you to do the same.

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