By the Way Berkshires, LLC, Williamstown, MA
My plans for this summer began to look a lot different after Covid-19 swept the U.S. and in-person arrangements were cancelled. After my camp counselor gig was officially cancelled, I searched for remote opportunities that sounded interesting and could help me get a sense of what I want to do in the future, career-wise. Since Winter Study 2020, I have served as a Features editor at the Williams Record, and while journalism was not something I had thought of pursuing outside of the Williams bubble, when I found an opportunity to work remotely as a journalism intern for BTW Berkshires, it immediately stood out to me as the perfect thing to do this summer.
During the eight-week remote internship program, I had the opportunity to work closely with my supervisor, Williams alumna Kate Abbott ’00, a former editor at the Berkshire Eagle. Kate runs the BTW Berkshires website on her own and writes most of its content. Normally, the website serves as an event calendar for all things Berkshires-related, but since most in-person events were cancelled this summer, some of the content had to change to reflect the impact of the pandemic on the Berkshires.
Over the course of the internship, I wrote two series of articles: the first one about local Berkshire musicians and how Covid-19 affected their careers, and the second one about Berkshire summer camps and how sleepaway camps were forced to close while some day camps stayed open with strict health protocols. As a musician who also went to camp in the Berkshires for a decade, both of these topics hit home for me and were intriguing to write about. While working on these articles, I interviewed world-renowned musicians as well as up and coming musicians. I also interviewed area camp directors to learn how some camps were able to open and how summer camp closures affected local Berkshire business-owners.
The experience of working for a journalism website was very different than that of working at the Williams Record. I had much more time to really delve into the topics I was writing about and go back to the sources for follow-up questions. I was also able to meet with Kate regularly and internalize her advice on how to make an article interesting and capture a reader’s attention. I have always known that I want to major in English, but now I also have a feeling that journalism is a career path I may want to take in the future, and this internship has given me valuable experience to set me up for that future.
My summer experience with BTW Berkshires would not have been possible without the help of the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and of course the generosity from the Estate of James Kellogg. Thank you to everyone who gave me the opportunity to do something incredible with this strange and different summer!