When I first interviewed at Change is Simple last summer, I remember walking into the small, hidden office and seeing a group of young adults, like myself, huddled around a conference table listening to music and working feverishly. Though I was somewhat intimidated by the sight at the time, I could tell they were passionate about what they were doing and made sure to have fun while doing it.
When I accepted my position as Development Assistant a few weeks later, I did my best to determine some concrete expectations for what lay ahead. But what I discovered in my first few weeks here was that my expectations would not only be met, but exceeded. Though my title was “Development Assistant”, I quickly became a crucial part to so many more projects that lay outside the realm of “development”. Had I taken the same position at a much larger non-profit or NGO, I probably would have spent my days inputting data and writing letters. Here at Change is Simple, I was never defined or boxed-in by my title and this allowed me to learn and experience so many different facets of running a small non-profit.
Patrick and Lauren encouraged me to use this first real-world job as a way for me to explore where I did and did not thrive in our close-knit office. I even began teaching in schools in January, which has enriched my experience here even more. I was able to work in the classroom almost everyday and see the incredible impacts being made on our students - these same impacts I had been talking about in fundraising materials for months but had never really seen. Because of Lauren and Patrick’s trust in my ability, I now have great foundations in grant writing, fundraising, marketing and teaching to build off of. To say that my position here at Change is Simple was the perfect first job to have out of college would be an understatement.
But what I will miss most about the office is the people who work here. I’ve had such an amazing time getting to know all the staff, family and friends of our small little non-profit. I’ve lived in Vermont my entire life, and although the North Shore is not far from there, I can tell you that it is quite different. Patrick, Lauren, Kelly and Haven became my immediate friends during a time when I was starting everything from scratch. They gave me endless local knowledge, restaurant recommendations, and always let me to vent about the bad habits of Massachusetts drivers. Our interns this year were equally as amazing, bringing their bright minds and smiles to work every day and providing comic relief whenever necessary. I consider myself very lucky to have met such phenomenal people in such a short amount of time.
My time at Change is Simple will always provide fond memories of early mornings, office antics, and profound change for me. I refuse to say “goodbye” today, because I know I’ll be back. I’m so grateful to Lauren and Patrick for giving me this experience. Change is Simple is an inspirational, wonderful little organization and deserves the best. As they say, it’s not goodbye - it’s “see yah latah”. - Jillian Conner