By Elaine Jeon ’17
Admission intern Stuart McKenzie ’16 leads a campus tour
Whether it’s to Boston, New York, or even Hong Kong or London, many Amherst students venture out into the forests of skyscrapers for various summer internships. A résumé-building alternative to city life, however, is scoring an internship on campus. From the Admission Office to the Office of Environmental Sustainability, a host of opportunities for students to learn new skills and explore their interests are available at the College this summer.
Office of Admission
Through a highly selective hiring process, the Office of Admission has chosen six students to be the faces of Amherst this summer. Every day, the interns lead campus tours, facilitate group information sessions and answer questions from parents, prospective students and other visitors.
Intern Stuart McKenzie ’16 said that he enjoys learning to translate his love of Amherst into words. He also appreciates that the job has helped him better understand with his alma mater’s flaws. “One might expect that my job is solely to sell the College to prospective students, but in my opinion, my duty is to give an honest appraisal of the institution through the eyes of a student,” McKenzie explained. “Just because I love Amherst doesn’t mean that it is a perfect school, and that’s okay.”
Four students have also been regularly blogging about their summer on campus. A few of the entries so far have covered a recent whitewater rafting adventure for geology major Brian Beaty ’17, Irisdelia Garcia ’18’s reflection on female role models, Lola Fadulu ’17’s honest look into housing on campus, and the LGBTQ community on campus as described by sociology major Karen Blake ’17.
Book & Plow Farm
The farmers and student workers have been plowing through a successful third season of production at the Book & Plow Farm. Lately, they’ve been harvesting lettuces, kale, collard greens, cucumbers, celery, carrots, beets and scallions.
Many of the interns at the farm receive funding through the Center for Community Engagement’s Civic Engagement Scholars program. Also, there are interns from the Pioneer Valley Citizen Summer program and many others from the Five Colleges and beyond.
“Working at the farm is amazing, because the environment fosters the kinds of interactions that make a group of people a family,” Brian Zayatz ’18 said. “Everyone respects each other and the work we’re doing, and everyone is genuinely excited to spend our days together while we produce food for the Valley.”
Office of Communications
As a summer intern for the Office of Communications, Tomal Hossain ’17 has been checking links, reconfiguring page layouts and migrating content for the College’s complex website.
The internship aligns with his interests and goals, as he has “always enjoyed working on websites,” he said. “I’d like to be developing websites on an ongoing, freelance basis.”
The job requires Hossain to be meticulous. “Ensuring that the formatting for hundreds of pages on the Amherst College website is consistent has definitely challenged and taken the better of me,” he said.
Office of Environmental Sustainability
The newly established Office of Environmental Sustainability’s director Laura Draucker has been orchestrating numerous projects with Climate Action Intern Anna Berglund ’16 this summer. An environmental studies and sociology double major, Berglund began working for the office with several other interns in the spring semester. Through this summer internship, she is able to start new tasks while continuing projects from the school year.
One of her many projects is developing an eco-reps program for the incoming first-year students. Eco-reps are student representatives who will teach their peers about creating an environmentally friendly campus and lead their dorm-mates in living more sustainably.
“I am interested in going into the field of environmental work upon graduating, so this internship has been really helpful in allowing me to explore what exactly that means and what opportunities are available,” Berglund explained.