Boston Day 4: It’s All About The Boot!

I dedicate Day 4’s blog to Molly “The Boot” Gillis, one of our dearest EC 348 class pals who broke her foot just ONE day prior to the start of this field trip. It should be known to our readership that Molly has been walking the streets of Boston, 14 hours a day for four days straight with the assistance of her trusty medical walking boot. May god bless Molly, and god bless The Boot.

We love you Molly, and we love you, The Boot.

Just when we thought our Boston adventures couldn’t get any better, the EC 348 pals were shocked silly with yet another bootiful Bostonian day! We started off strong with an early morning visit to LevelUp, a mobile ordering and customer engagement platform for restaurants! Basically, they build apps so we can all order our food faster!

And yours truly nearly lost her salad loving marbles upon finding out that sweetgreen was one of their first customers! That’s right folks, SWEETGREEN!

And everything about LevelUp was super flipping cool — the Lego walls, the inflatable whales hanging from the ceiling, the engineering team holding their daily standup! That place was oozing with creativity, warmth, and community. But the most flipping cool aspect of the tour was meeting with Business Operations Director, Kevin Alexanderson.

Cool Kevin gave us some incredibly valuable insight into the operational and cultural shifts that start-ups undergo after being acquired by larger companies, as LevelUp just recently joined the GrubHub family. But that’s not all cool Kevin taught us today! He also expanded our vocabulary with the adorable term, prairiedogging:



That thing people do in open workspaces where they prop themselves up and nose around in all directions, looking at what everyone else is doing, but fail to actually accomplish any of their own work.

“Prairiedogging runs rampant on the third floor of Tutt library”

I’m so glad I now have a word to describe my study habits of the last 11 years. Thank you, Kevin.

But prairiedogging also extends to a larger conversation about the role of spatial design in driving innovation, which was certainly a theme of the day! After spending the morning at LevelUp, we skipped and kaboodled (except for Molly “The Boot” Gillis — she walked) down to the Cambridge Innovation Center, a co-working space for over 600 start-ups in Boston, as well as home to the Venture Café — a networking space for entrepreneurs.

There, the EC 348 pals got the opportunity to try our hand at networking and I was fortunate enough to speak with a very supportive R&D manager for the running brand, ASICS. Like a real professional dork, I told him all about my high school cross countrying and he taught me how larger companies like his build partnerships with up and coming start-ups in the footwear technology space!

Speaking of footwear technology, how can we not talk about The Boot again? The Boot, Molly, and Professor Dan from Canada helped end our day by leading us to a yummy dinner at Saloniki Greek! Not only did we get some tasty gyros, but we also met up with CC alumna, Eve Aguilar, and heard about her career working as a lawyer in the Office of the General Counsel at Harvard! Go Eve!

The thoughtful, inspiring, and exciting conversations that we’ve had with alums (like Eve!) in Boston have certainly been the highlight of this trip! And we are so incredibly thankful to them for their kindness and their time!

Stay tuned for our FINAL Day in Boston (so sad!) In the meantime, check out our beautiful group pics! I love our class pals so much! 




Published by Ali

Hi, My name is Ali Baird and I am a senior economics major and REMS minor. I am a big fan of puppies, frosting cupcakes, and collecting stationary. I'm super pumped to be blogging for the BEST class ever, The Economics of Innovation, taught by Professor Dan Johnson!