Mindy Wallis joined Groundwork! shortly after moving to New Bedford, and despite being a self-proclaimed introvert, she wasted no time engaging with our community. Mindy can often be found working in the lounge area and frequently chimes into the lunch counter conversations from her spot.
Mindy has been a dependable contributor and participant in our quarterly Town Hall meetings, and we love that her family will join her at our social events from time to time. In this interview, we get to learn a little more about what Mindy is up to while she’s here, and the things that inspire her.
What’s your profession?
I’m an Instructional Designer/E-Learning Developer, which means that I develop training materials for corporations and non-profits. I’m currently a consultant working on several different projects. You can see my e-learning portfolio online.
Describe a typical work day for you.
Some tasks I might do in a typical day include:
- Meeting with clients and subject matter experts (SMEs) to discuss requirements for a new course
- Reading or researching source material for a course
- Writing a student workbook or other course content
- Designing Powerpoint decks
- Developing e-learning modules
- Searching through online databases for appropriate images
- Creating assessment questions
Of course, throughout the day, I’m probably checking email, LinkedIn, and possibly Facebook to see what else is going on, read articles, and perhaps seek out additional gigs.
What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?
There are two:
- Dealing with client expectations. No matter how many times you tell a client that a project will take X hours and will cost Y, they always want more than they’re willing to pay for.
- Finding the next gig.
Do you have a morning routine?
Other than making a cup of tea and a bowl of fruit, nuts, and yogurt, not really. Some days I jump out of bed, get dressed, and rush over to Groundwork. Other days I stay home and in my jammies until lunchtime.
What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?
I’m not very good at being linear so I tend to jump from task to task throughout the day. I find I’m more likely to get more things done if I do several things at once.
What do you listen to during the day?
If I’m working on something that doesn’t take a lot of concentration, I like to listen to comedy or drama shows on the BBC.
If I’m writing, I tend to listen to music. I have Pandora channels for a bunch of different artists/genres, including: Bollywood, Reggae, Zydeco, Broadway Showtunes, Phillip Glass, Mozart, Elvis Costello, the Bozo Dog Band and Pit Bull.
How do you benefit from using a coworking space?
I enjoy having a space to go to where I can see other people, talk to them if I’m in the mood (but not if I’m not), and share information and ideas.
As a newcomer to New Bedford, Groundwork has been invaluable. I’ve gotten referrals to doctors, dentists, and auto repair shops, found people to take moving boxes off my hands, and gotten advice on who to support in the local elections. I’ve met other members of the community, become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and made some business connections. And most importantly, I’ve met a lot of warm, friendly people who’ve made me and my family feel very welcome.
What’s in your digital toolbox?
I’m inclined to be forgetful so I use the reminder app on my phone a lot.
What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your life?
My husband and I were both college dropouts when we met, although we subsequently returned and completed our degrees. I ended up with two Master’s degrees (History and Library Science). My History thesis was called, “Just Like Grandma Used to Open: Food Packaging in the 1920s and 30s.”
What inspires you?
Everything. It’s all grist for my mental mill. An ad on tv, an article, a chance remark, or even a cloud formation can make me say, “Hey, I have an idea. What if . . . ?”