After a semester of research and planning, I was excited to move on to the next part of my project. In order to start my project, like all studies, I needed to gather information and data. With the business survey completed with all the relevant questions, I had to figure out the best way to get the data I needed. This part of the process took more time than I imagined with a few setbacks.
I first attempted emailing all the involved parties for information but it turned out not to be the best source of communication as I only received one reply a week after sending the emails out. After I realized that emails probably were not going to get me anywhere, I moved on to calling. I thought that calling would be a surefire way to get the data I needed, but as it turns out, calling in Walla Walla can sometimes be rough due to circumstances such as the person I needed to talk to was out of office or the connection was poor. While calling, conversations took longer than I expected. In the phone calls I made, I had to introduce myself and clarify the situation in order to reassure the person I was calling that the study I was doing was legitimate and was for the Port. When asking the questions that I was interested in, sometimes I got more questions in reply and long answers whereas sometimes the calls were so quick that I wasn’t sure if I had really talked to someone at all. The calls that were answered would usually range from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Calling was more successful than emailing in the end, but far less successful in general with around 30% of the tenants responding to my calls. I had to figure out what would guarantee results, so then I looked to making site visits in order to explain the study and get information face-to-face. As you would expect, this was definitely the best, although maybe not the most efficient, way to get data as long as the person I needed to talk to was in the office.
In the end, I gained so much experience communicating with so many individuals and i’m excited to continue gaining some more. I also learned about the thoughts that tenants had in the Port area and I hope I will be able to bring these topics to light in my report. I’ve only recently finished getting the data I needed from the airport district, but after i’m done accumulating the data I need in all parts of the Port, i’m looking forward to updating the information that the Port currently has and writing an impactful report based on that same information for the Port to reference whenever they need to.