Pre-departure notes

Towards the end of my internship, I gradually started to appreciate how multifactorial this internship is. As part of the Market, I am constantly motivated and pushed to learn more about the social justice purpose of this organization. From the carrying out of the Massachusetts State program – the Health Incentive Program – to multiple tours I have given to visiting kids’ group, not only did I gain a deeper understanding towards each vendor in the market, but more importantly, towards the mission of the Market.

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To my surprise, my learning mostly takes place outside projects. As I know more and more about the Market, I started to have some original ideas of event programming. For example, I wanted to talk to vendors more, because, after all, they are the foundation of the Market.  Then I tried to think of possible ways for me to do it. The most relevant ways would be using the Market’s social media platform. So I actively took over all the social media involved projects: taking pictures, Facebook live, Instagram live, etc. In this way, I would be able to improve my communication skill. I know that I am an introverted person, and am not good at talking to people. This internship offers an excellent opportunity to confront my weak points.

The biggest turning point of this internship is when I “interviewed” the Market’s community and outreach chair both to deepen my understanding of the organization, and to ask for her suggestions for office interns. I learned a lot of useful information regarding market strategic design, core missions, etc. Before the interview, I kind of just accepted the projects that needed to be done and finished up some small details of different projects. However, after knowing the five public impact goals of the market, I learned to spontaneously think of new projects and come up with new ideas, instead of asking around for projects. Although the point of having interns in the office is to help the staffs with projects, the main point is still to make work more productive. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I do think that it is extremely important to be creative and spontaneous. At only two year’s anniversary, the Market is still growing and experimenting. For example, the Market partnered up with a small tech company in East Boston and shot some recipe videos, including a goat cheese blueberry French toast, posted last week. I think both recipe video shooting and collaboration with tech company are very much an experiment rather than a long-term project. And I’m very curious how it will go in the future.

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If I were to start this internship again, I would re-arrange my schedule a little bit. Now that I know work in the office and the Market better, I think it is better to come for a short time period in the morning, and stay over a longer periods. In that way, I would be able to experience all kinds of events in the Market, and also choose different days of the weeks to stay. Moreover, I really admire the focus on the development of small business, which I do think will be the future of the food industry. This new model will be infinitely more flexible and vivid than big industry. I really enjoy working here, and I’d definitely come back one day!

-Yuchen He