Lately, as I stroll through the addictive pictures on Pinterest, I notice that I’m drawn to more and more images that evoke a feeling of vibrant foliage and a fall palette. It’s a sure sign that summer is dying down. And, while I know that the Boston summer won’t go easily into the night without at least one more heat wave, I’m ready to unpack my seasonal clothes and start packing the pantry with warm teas and oatmeal.
I told you about my new job as Community Manager for GrabCAD (GC). Now, read some more in this interview where a willing GC member asks me everything about my background, aspirations in my new job, and more.
It was incredibly helpful and worthwhile to have to work out some tough answers before starting in my new position. What do I see for the company in the future? How will I manage my new responsibilities? In what ways do I connect with my new peers?
How do you ground your priorities when taking on a new challenge? Let me know in the comments. And a special thank you to William for taking the time to get to know me for this interview!
Why have I been so quiet the past few months?
I was hard at work finishing my time at Boston Startup School (BSS). The team at BSS helped bring my marketing skills to a new level, introduced me to an amazing network of students and startup professionals, and gave me confidence to go out and get a job with the brilliant team at GrabCAD. Simply said, it was life changing. Apply to their new class, I highly recommend it! If you’re in the Boston area, join us for our first public boat cruise BSS EntrepreneurSHIP, a networking event with alumni, supporters, possible students.
So what is my new job?
As Community Manager, I will help cultivate and engage an amazing group of engineers who use GrabCAD to challenge their skills, search for resources, and collaborate online. Look for more posts on my role as Community Manager on GrowthNinja.
What does this mean for Gull and Sand?
Gull and Sand isn’t going anywhere. This is where I get to post the things I like best, share my design inspiration, and write about life as a young professional in Boston. I’m looking into adding new features, so let me know what you would like to see on G&S.
What big life events are you dealing with and how do you stay inspired? Don’t be shy, let me know in the comments.
My friend showed me this website and it is perfect. No one uses them. Happy Weekend!
Like connecting with people, building relationships with companies and brands involves a little bit of magic. It also requires commitment, follow through, and trust. But how about that little spark of fire that happens when you meet someone new that also likes the quirky things you do? Or when you find a product that incites you to immediately buy it and proceed to sell it to all your friends? There’s the magic. The mixture of opportunity and place. This is what excites me about marketing and why I’m such an engaged customer.
I found a little bit of this magic at BG Galleries in Hingham. Many items caught my eye and I may have exclaimed, “I MUST HAVE THIS!” at a
inappropriate joyously loud level a few too many times. Peter, the owner came over to talk to me about his gorgeously curated collection. His outreach made all the difference.
After that initial spark, Peter and I talked more about how BG Galleries does business and I got a sneak peek in their back room. So many treasures! Check out this scallop overlay lantern.
It was a pleasure to hear their company story and bond over our love of unique pieces that just need some TLC or someone to stage them with style for the customer. Hopefully, I will go back soon and walk away with a great piece and more in-depth owner interview.
How do you communicate with brands you love? Where do you like to have the conversation? Let me know in the comments.
Why is ‘gamestorming‘ better than traditional brainstorming? It’s more fun! And I felt free to question, create, and share more than usual. In other idea-centered meetings, I sensor my thoughts and answer them in my head or feel in competition with my coworkers to produce the best idea. Dave Gray, who co-authored ‘Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers‘ with Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, explains it best. Watch his UX Week 2010 video:
Friday I experienced my first gamestorming session, courtesy of C Todd Lombardo who also contributes to Inside BSS. First, let me give you some context. Our Boston Startup School (BSS) team is currently working on a roommate-matching concept, taking it from a 60-second pitch to a barebones minimum viable product (MVP) in about one week. A week of validation via targeted surveys and communication. But, before you can validate an assumption you have to figure out where you stand and what you assume. Enter gamestorming, brainstorming’s fun cousin.
Our goal is to ask questions, and lots of them, that stand between us and our barebones MVP. The symbol in the corner explains the rules of the game. The post-its are easy to move around to create categories once the gush of ideas is complete.
In twos, we went up to the board and silently moved things around to find common themes in our group’s questions. Then, as a group we labeled each category and further distilled ideas. By the end, we decided on a core set of questions we needed to assess.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, but at least we are all on the same page as to what we need to ask our prospective stakeholders. On to empathy maps, survey questions, and data collection! How did we get through the week and perform in our demo in front of BSS? Check back next week and I’ll let you know.
How do you like to start a project? Let me know in the comments.
Thank goodness for Boston Startup School (BSS). My days are full of thoughtful, inspiring speakers, networking with fellow students, and challenging coursework. Of course, sometimes it feels like we all signed up to play calvinball…
But, that is part of the fun.
I am ecstatic to be in the inaugural class. I know I am a part of something special and that this team, which managed to make a 3-day orientation engaging, will keep things fresh as we continue to learn. Most of all, I am awed that the Boston startup community has been SO welcoming. Thank you to the mentors and BSS team that brought this thing together! We will make you proud, and #LearnToDo.
Hope everyone enjoyed their Father’s Day celebrations. What kind of card do you usually look for when shopping for Dad? I look for old toys, movies, or soldiers (see the first example, above) for my Pops. David and Steve, can you guess which ones are for you?
If you liked my post on packing, then you’ll want to see this video with packing tips from Real Simple magazine.
I’ve been reading Real Simple since they first started and find good advice and inspiration from them each month. The website is hard to navigate, so lately I’ve been following their Pinterest boards and loving it.
Their weekend getaway guide resembles my tips. Enjoy!