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See ya later Groundwork!

I was lucky enough to meet Sarah and Dena last year in one of my business classes. One of the major projects in the class was to collaborate with a local business and help them develop a plan to solve a problem they were facing. My group was assigned to Groundwork! and my life hasn’t been the same since.

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After the semester was over and our project was completed, I got an email from Sarah asking me to be the new Social Media Marketing intern at Groundwork!. I wanted to immediately jump on the opportunity but in all honesty I had some huge reservations that I had to consider like ‘how am I going to be a social media marketing intern when I don’t know much about marketing, am not that creative, and kinda suck at social media’? – Still not 100% sure how twitter works…

After organizing my schedule and deciding that this internship could be a great learning experience for me, I emailed Sarah back and accepted the Internship with the hope that I wouldn’t suck at it. It was one of the best decisions I have my in my educational career.

The evolution of Lisa

I really have never been the person to get involved or participate in extra curricular activities. I was always to busy with work or avoiding interacting with new people (I was that person you would find in the corner of the room at a party, on the floor petting whatever animal I could find). At least I went to the party though, right?

So I started working with Sarah and Dena and networking with the Groundwork community and I came out of my shell. The staff and members at Groundwork are the best group of people that I have met. Everyone here is so motivated and passionate and friendly, it inspires me.

While my job title was “social media marketing intern” I learned a lot more than just marketing;
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I learned that my posture is awful.

  • I learned about the sea scallop industry and its sustainability efforts.
  • I learned about the economic development in New Bedford and the Southcoast.
  • I learned that IKEA furniture is pretty great.
  • I learned that I am creative, and I don’t suck at social media (still suck @twitter).
  • I learned about the amazing entrepreneurial and artistic culture of the Southcoast.
  • I learned how to find events that are going on in my community.
  • I learned that I have every opportunity I can imagine at my finger tips and that they are achievable.
  • I learned how to use WordPress, Hootsuite, Facebook groups & Slack.
  • I learned how to blog and how podcasts work.
  • I learned what the hell a coworking space is.

How Groundwork affected the rest of my life

GW goodbye2This semester I joined Roots & Shoots, a student run group focused on sustainability that was started by Jane Goodall (the first school group I have joined in my entire educational career).

I left the country for the first time to compete in Start-up Weekend in the Azores and then competed again at UMass, which my group won!

Three days later I competed in an EforAll Pitch contest and met some amazing people with great businesses.

I went to business buzzes, art shows, the NB Bookfest, a food security forum, a teach-in and tons more.

These are all firsts for me. I wanted to do all of these things and was able to because of Groundwork! and the new perspectives I have gained, people I have met, and lessons I have learned. I became part of a community and was able to branch out and connect with people – just like the tree in the GW logo.

Getting Emotional

Ever since I started working here I’ve noticed myself bringing up Groundwork in a majority of the conversations I have. I’m sure that’s not going to stop. Everyone in my inner circle now knows the ins and outs of coworking and I’ve noticed that a lot of them are getting more involved in their own communities after seeing how passionate I have become about it. It makes me feel awesome knowing that I can teach others what I have learned at Groundwork! and have a positive effect on them, hopefully making the world a better place one person at a time.

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I’m currently getting really sad writing this and know I could go on forever about the time I have spent here (which was way to short) so I am going to end this blog here. I can’t filibuster anymore as my last day at Groundwork is today. I can’t thank Dena and Sarah enough for the opportunity they have given me and the lessons they have taught me. Thank you to all of the Groundwork members for welcoming me aboard and making me feel at home here.

I’ll be graduating in 10 days, heading home to Waltham and working as an equestrian instructor over the summer. In September I’ll be traveling to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for a month to do some volunteer conservation work on a Private Game Reserve. After that… who knows?! Maybe you’ll see me back at Groundwork soon enough! Add me on Facebook and Instagram to find out!

I’m not saying bye, I’m saying see you guys later…



Lisa Schiavone
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