My name is Austin Isgrig, and I am from Seattle, Washington. I am a rising junior studying Economics at Princeton University and pursuing a certificate in Finance. As a Reimagining Volunteer, I have been working as a part of the Sextant Development team.
My team has been working on improving the presentation and reach of the Sextant Foundation. We started with updating the website, as the old one was difficult to navigate and did not look the best colors wise. We recently finished updating the website, so we are now moving on to revamping our social media strategy. We have also been conducting empathy interviews with various external people that are connected to the foundation in order to better understand what Sextant has meant to them and how it can be improved.
For my individual project I have been looking at Sextant’s business model and thinking of ways to improve that. The business model is centered around fundraising efforts, but there are also many different factors that go into the fundraising process, so it has been interesting studying all of those. I have also been doing a market analysis of different nonprofit organizations, and I will be using that information to help inform areas for improvement with Sextant’s business model.
What is the most challenging task so far?
The most challenging task was definitely launching the website. None of us really had any prior experience creating a website, so there was definitely a learning curve involved with getting up to speed with that. It was also difficult making sure that all of the relevant information from the previous website made its way over to the updated one.
What is the most exciting part/moment working as a reimagining volunteer?
Seeing the live version of the website was incredibly rewarding, as our team had put a lot of time and effort into making our vision of the updated website a reality. It also received a lot of praise from our supervisors and fellow volunteers, which further validated our efforts.
Do you feel connected to the other volunteers and Sextant staff?
I definitely feel connected with my fellow volunteers and supervisors. I have really enjoyed meeting with my team every morning and getting to know them a bit better. We also have a weekly social hour, where the whole group of volunteers plays various online games together. Those have been super enjoyable for me and I look forward to them every week. Additionally, we have one on one meetings with Troy or Shannon (our supervisors) fairly regularly, which is great since it allows us to touch base and gives me an opportunity to ask questions.
Which part of the work of Sextant Foundation attracts you the most (healthcare, engineering, workshops, nonprofit, etc)? Why is that?
I like how Sextant uses the term “reimagine” as a way of approaching solving difficult problems. I have enjoyed using this framework as a way of taking on my work this summer. In particular, using the human centered design approach has opened my eyes to thinking more about how many different factors go into each part of a decision making process. Those factors then also help inform what the model we use ends up being.
Share with us a hobby you developed during social distancing.
I have been trying to cook more, since it is harder to go to restaurants now and I have a lot more free time. I have gotten pretty good at making different kinds of pasta dishes, such as bacon tomato pasta and butternut squash ravioli. Knowing how to cook well is also definitely a good skill to have for when I have to live in my own place.