Community – While CoLab has two employees, Kailey and myself, I work in the middle of a community of 70 people who are all entrepreneurially minded, smart, social, and awesome. My job is to make sure that the space they work in is the best it can be. Everyone here is genuinely interested in the growth of each others’ professional lives, and being included in that as a staff member of CoLab rather than a member is enough to keep me going.
Flexibility – As a senior at Belmont University, I’m wrapping up my education with papers, projects, presentations, and lots and lots of books. I sometimes spend lunch with a textbook. Coworkers understand the value of being flexible and the headaches of juggling multiple jobs. I leave when I need to and stay longer when I can—I don’t have to stress about earning a certain number of hours or being in at a specific time. I just get things done how I can.
Food – At least once or twice a month we have free food at CoLab. We have Lunch and Learns over pizza, Meet Your Neighbor events with beer and snacks, and our Open House this spring even had a keg from a local brewery — Yazoo! That’s just the free stuff. Working directly across from the Arcade means that on any given day I am a sixty second walk to sushi, burritos, philly cheese steak, Mongolian BBQ, Meat & 3, Chinese and an entire grocery store. Not mention our favorite group bar, Back Alley Diner. I’m never hungry and never eat the same thing twice.
Chalkboard – I LOVE our chalkboard walls. They’re fun to draw on and I get to do it whenever I want. On the clock!
My ideas are encouraged and appreciated – This is the most important aspect of my job and any other I’ve had, for that matter. CoLab is a startup for startups – we’re growing and changing all the time. My opinions are listened to and asked for. That’s enough to boost anyone’s ego! I’m encouraged to move forward on projects I come up with myself, and I’m trusted to do good work.
It’s been an amazing year working at CoLab. I feel like my spirit has been ignited with entrepreneurship and community, and the city of Nashville has been reborn for me working in the heart of downtown. I was engaged and married while working here, graduated college, and got my first full-time job. It’s been a year full of firsts; only the most perfect lasts and it’s coming to an end.
Starting first of the new year, I’ll be the Community Director of CoLab Orlando. I’m nervous, excited, happy, and just a teensy bit sad. I’ll still be working closely with Kailey and the Nashville group, but it’s time for me to move on. I’ll be in a position to cater to a new group of entrepreneurs and develop their community to be as wonderful as ours.
I’ll miss everyone very much! Good luck in everything you choose to do. Whether it be starting or closing companies, new products, new ideas or new projects, I want to hear about them.