First week with The Nature Conservancy ✓ – Sarah Haensly

Hey!

I’ve had a great last week at my internship, so I can’t wait to see what will come next! For this specific project that I am working on, called Washington Coast Works, I’m actually doing the majority of my work at the Pinchot office in downtown Seattle. At Pinchot there is the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE), a program that provides entrepreneurship and enterprise support to people in underserved communities. Because CIE specializes in something very similar to what the Nature Conservancy (TNC) project is working for, TNC provides the funding and support to CIE to head the Washington Coast Works project. I hope that all made sense!

Anyways, I’m mainly working at the Pinchot office downtown where I’m primarily working with just one guy, Mike, who has been putting so much time and energy into this project. Because Mike has been doing so much of the project on his own so far, he is very appreciate of the help.

For this first week Mike has just been giving me a full rundown of the project so far. I read the entire USDA grant proposal that he had submitted to gain money to fund the project, as well as all of the applications that have been submitted from people who have ideas for businesses. There are a lot of other forms and files that I’ve been reading as well, in order to familiarize myself with the entire project. It’s all super interesting! Our next steps are to choose the ten participants and two alternates for the competition.

I had a great first impression of the job! Although I’m not really working much with anyone else in the office, they have all been very welcoming and helpful. The whole building is a really interesting space and ideas kind of just flow freely between the organizations that are housed in it. I’ll definitely try to take more pictures.

I’ve learned a ton so far as well. I think that through this internship I’ll learn a lot about small business start-ups, as well as sustainability in businesses. What’s amazing about this internship is that because I’m only working with a few people I actually have some sort of a say – something that I didn’t expect. Before I arrived Mike and Eric, the partner at TNC, had drafted up a list of participants for the competition. I disagreed with two of those that they had chosen, and they actually switched them out with the ones that I had supported.

I’m excited to see how the rest of the internship goes after a great first week!

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