The next few days are looking up!

Hello everybody!  It's Ryan again.

I just wanted to mention a few things coming up this week that have me really excited!  

First, we have an SSE taster tomorrow!  We will be meeting some potential students to talk about what we do at the SSE!  Any opportunity for me to meet new social entrepreneurs is a great one in my book!  

Next, there is a visit to Happy Computers Ltd. that I will get to go along with!  I hope to gain some more insight as to what different people are doing to help their communities.

Finally, on Friday, there will be a sort of fair at Wilkins South Cloisters at UCL where we will be getting a little publicity!  It sounds like there will be UCL students there buying/selling goods and it all sounds like great fun!  If you feel like stopping by, Im sure you could.


Cheers everyone!

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The Life of an Intern

Hey everybody, it’s Ryan the intern!  I just wanted to take a few minutes and write about my experience here at the SSE so far.

From day one, it has been fantastic working here.  I’ve never had an office job before, although I do have a bit of other work experience.  What I thought was going to be a month of being bored to death, cooped up in an office with a bunch of old people turned into being one of the most inspiring, exciting jobs with the greatest bunch of people I have ever worked with (and they aren’t even old, or at least you can’t tell)!!

Business, for me, has always been something I’ve studied only because it seemed like a practical way to get a job in one of the worst economies that the USA (yes, I’m American so excuse my different spelling of words) has ever seen.  I don’t know whether it’s the English charm in this office, the fact that I feel like my work has meaning, or just the overall vibe in the office that we are all helping other people. We have started using a forwarding service that just helps us get our mail to different replika klockor office locations. But whatever it is, coming to work is a great part of my day and I’m sad to say I will have to leave at the end of the month to go back to school for my final semester before heading out into the real world.  That said, I must repeat the first thing I learned in this office and that was where the tea is.  How English! 🙂

Specifically, I’m working under Nick doing things like contacting the press, working back and forth with fellows and current students to finish up certain jobs, and organizing/analyzing (not analysing haha) data from evaluations and such.  It’s been great fun as every day is a bit different, so it keeps me interested.

Finally, it’s just really interesting seeing how a non-for-profit works; it’s neat how we have to go about different strategies to keep things working like obtaining grants and the like because the SSE doesn’t rely on its program as its only source of income.

Well, that’s all from me for now.  I’ll be back next Monday with another update of sorts, I’m sure.


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Hopes and wishes for 2011 for civil society

Social Investment Business have done an interesting powerpoint which shares the views of various sector leaders' wishes for 2011. Including (Sir) Stephen Bubb, Matthew Taylor from RSA, Rod Schwartz from ClearlySo, Julie McEver from Local Partnerships…and more. Including, first up, our own CEO Alastair Wilson….enjoy.

[You might also be interested in Third Sector's Austerity Panel's advice for the year ahead.]

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How social entrepreneurs learn from experience, 24-7

Jackbauer In between celebrating Ashes victory (making having an Australian franchise even more enjoyable than normal) and watching Series 8 of 24 (Jack Bauer very much a leadership role model), I managed to write a quick article for the Guardian Social Enterprise Network on how social entrepreneurs learn, expanding on the old question of "are entrepreneurs born or made?". You can read the whole piece here: Look back after you've leapt: how social entrepreneurs learn from experience

The title refers to one section, where I was explaining how the old proverb "look before you leap" didn't quite apply to entrepreneurs….the process being more like:

"It's key that you leap….definitely leap….
….but why don't you hear from some other people who who have already leapt and see how they landed….
….and then you won't leap in that way that landed them in a puddle…
….then learn a bit more about where to choose to leap first…..
….then get inspired by (and encouragement from) people around you also leaping…
…then Leap – and then look back and see how that went…..
…and how you might leap differently next time….
…and then look for the next leap that's needed."

Not necessarily the snappiest bit of writing ever, but a fair approximation of what 'progress' looks like for a lot of those we support; and which underlies the way our programmes and our approach to learning is structured.

And also what we look for in applicants: is prone to action, takes risk + responsibility, demonstrates persistence and commitment, seizes opportunity, utilises resources, has a sense of vision / direction, clear about mission/objectives and so forth. Entrepreneurial characteristics and traits, indeed, many of which are embodied by Jack Bauer himself. Told you he was a role model… :0)

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January is here, and so are the new interns!

Social Entrepreneurs everywhere, my name is Ryan Trostrud and I am one of two new interns here at the School for Social Entrepreneurs all the way from Northfield, Minnesota.  Might I say, I am loving it here in the UK; it's my first time here and even though the weather is somewhat dreary, taking the tube to work every day sure beats brushing a foot and a half of snow off your car at 6:30 in the morning and sitting in traffic for 2 hours! 

But in all seriousness, it has been so inspiring meeting all of these great Brits and social entrepreneurs!  I think the best part of this whole job is being able to sit down with a fellow and listen to them tell you their story.  You can just tell by the way they talk about it that it is truly their love in life, almost as if this enterprise they have built is their own child… and this child is a star athlete, A+ student, and wonderful person all in one!  (I'm not sure if my metaphor translates perfectly into British culture but I'll go with it anyway)

So just to introduce myself a bit, I am a senior at St Olaf College which means I'm in my last year.  I've studied Sociology, Anthropology and Management Studies (which in my head is perfect for what I'm doing) and next year I hope to get into the marketing/communications part of business!  At the SSE, I'm working mostly under Nick Temple contacting some newspapers and working on getting the SSE's name out there!

As this set of classes starts to slow down, it becomes really busy around here.  That said, I am going to have to sign off for now, but I will be sure to keep you updated as things get even more hectic around here!

Cheers everyone!

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