Part 1 of 2: SIF Spring Co-Op Reflections

Hear from Lena Gaultier, Program and Operations
  • By Lena Gaultier
  • Published on July 07, 2022

During my six month internship as a Programs and Operations Co-op at the Social Innovation Forum (SIF), I found a welcoming community full of passionate leaders ready to support my work and provide constructive feedback, as well as opportunities that allowed me greater autonomy in the workplace. I’ve learned that community plays a central role in SIF’s mission - something I saw embodied in the external work we did and the internal culture that I was a part of. It was great to reflect on SIF’s DEI initiatives, and be a part of regular conversations about work-life balance and dynamics in the nonprofit sector.

I spent time working with various teams on many different tasks. In the Operations department, I learned Salesforce database administration, including maintenance and clean-up, process documentation, user support, and worked to implement organizational aspects to improve clarity and efficiency. In the Programs department, I supported our Nonprofit Network’s monthly workshops, including creating registration materials, meeting with facilitators, managing participants, and organizing technological needs, as well as creating and designing the content for our Nonprofit Network newsletter.

When I first joined, the Nonprofit Network was running a new initiative: a Mindfulness Cohort to help nonprofit employees learn to manage stress in the workplace. I had previously taken an academic course on Mindfulness at Northeastern and spent time practicing it myself. I was eager to join this cohort – both as a participant during the sessions and as support to the facilitator. Upon the completion of the cohort, I spent time going over the data and results collected in surveys we administered and was offered the opportunity to participate in debrief sessions and present to the family foundation that had funded the cohort.

Although this particular project was only one small part of my time at SIF, it allowed me to experience first-hand SIF’s core value of continuous learning and explore various aspects of both Programs and Operations. It’s been great to see this cohort through from the very beginning until we got to wrap it up with the funder in the end. I am grateful for my time here as I feel that SIF has provided me with multiple opportunities for leadership and professional growth, and I have felt like a valued member of this amazing team.

I learned so much about the nonprofit sector and have a deeper understanding of everything that goes into the functioning of a successful program. It has been fulfilling to learn the inner workings of a nonprofit and see directly the impact that SIF is able to have on the impressive organizations in the Greater Boston area. I will take these learnings with me into my fall semester classes and continue to follow SIF’s success stories and impact!

Continue on to Part 2:

Read Julia Chase's, SIF Communications and Events Co-op reflection 

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