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We finished up work at our site placements in Durham, NC the other day. On our last day of work at OEWD, Brian, our boss, brought in scones for us to celebrate our upcoming journey across the pond. Working at OEWD was a great experience, and I can’t wait to see what happens with some of the projects we worked on. We spent most of our time gathering content for a website full of resources for small businesses in Durham and working on a report about small business programs around the country and some future steps Durham could take.

Even though we spent a tremendous amount of effort on these projects, neither could be completely finished because of the timeline we were operating with. The website probably won’t be ready until the fall because the logo has to be created and the city has to find a different web designer after the first one we met with didn’t work out. The small business report also cannot be finished yet because it is partially dependent on data from a survey of small businesses in Durham, and there probably will not be enough responses until August or later this fall. It is a little bit weird not having much concrete to display the work we’ve done, but at the same time, it will be exciting come back to Durham and see how our work has impacted OEWD in the fall. I can’t wait to see what the finished website looks like, and I hope that small business owners find it to be helpful!

I am very excited to see what working in the UK will bring. I think one of the most valuable lessons I took away from OEWD was the importance of communication and asking for help. We were constantly talking to Brian and Lisa, a Harvard fellow working with the City of Durham for the summer and asking them any questions we had. In addition, we were reaching out to various cities around the country to learn about their programs, since the information online was often not as clear. I was actually quite surprised how little information was online sometimes. We learned so much from talking to other people. If we had not communicated like this, there is no way that we would have been able to finish the work that we did.