This summer Batesies Bria Riggs, Alex Morrow, and Ashley Bryant had a variety of internship experiences.
Sophomore Bria Riggs interned at Nezinscot farm for two months. Nezinscot is a part of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WOOF) network.
Riggs developed a passion for cooking while she was growing up in Sacramento, CA. Her family was involved with the Farm-to-Table movement.
Her duties included watering plants in the greenhouses, making cheese, baking, working with goats, and basic farm work. Her most challenging job was helping process the chickens.
“There were long, challenging hours, and you have to be mindful of everything going on,” Riggs said. “Once cows escaped into the middle of the road!”
Her biggest takeaway was “knowing where your food comes from and who your farmer is. It’s a big cycle, and it’s cool to see how everything works together to create a sustainable and thriving environment.”
Riggs also learned that excess protein from cheese production is given to pigs to yield better tasting meat.
“[To work} at Nezinscot, you have to be open-minded to a different, challenging experience,” Riggs said.
Senior Alex Morrow worked at Brandmoore Farm in Rollinsford, NH. The farm is small, family owned and produces raw milk, meat, and organic produce. Her internship was funded by the Purposeful Work Internship Program.
Morrow served as the outreach coordinator for the farm, photographing and videotaping workers busy in the fields and uploading them to Instagram. She photographed and updated the farm’s social media outlets on a daily basis.
Morrow was inspired to pursue this internship after working on a farm while studying abroad in Nepal.
When looking for an internship, Morrow wanted something where she would be “outside, working with my hands.” She does a lot of photo and video work and thought “it would be a good idea to use Purposeful Work to do something that would [document] work on the farm.”
“I approached the farm about an outreach coordinator position,” said Morrow. “It’s important for farms to have a social media presence because it’s hard for farmers to do that sort of work. It helped me develop my skills as a media story teller.”
Morrow’s photography of the farm was featured in an art museum, where farm organizations and photography magazines purchased her photographs. The proceeds went toward Brandmoore.
“Finding a balance between photographing and working in the field was the most challenging,” Morrow said. “I really enjoyed working in the field with my hands. I became really close with everyone on the farm. It was like a family. I felt lazy taking pictures of them while they were working. But the photography did help boost their clientele and the attention they got on social media.”
Her biggest takeaway was learning that she needs to be doing something “that is equal parts working with my head and with my hands. Both kinds of knowledge and work experience are valuable. It’s a balance between the two that makes things exciting.”
Through the BCDC, Senior Ashley Bryant had an education internship at the Heathfield Community School in Taunton, England. Heathfield is a public secondary school for ages 10-16.
Bates and Heathfield have had an exchange program for the past four years. The program also has a performing arts internship.
She was accepted to the internship while in the desert in Morocco.
Bryant, an education minor, observed classes, mentored students, aided teachers, and planned and taught classes of her own. “Having freedom when creating a class lesson was challenging. There’s lots of freedom when creating a curriculum,” Bryant said.
In England, secondary schools have mandatory religious classes, 50 percent of which are geared toward Christianity. She noted that the classes there were very test-heavy. Bryant taught classes on sexuality within the context of Christianity to 15 and 16 year olds.
The most rewarding part for Bryant was going on a hiking expedition with a religious professor, where she got to do hands-on learning in nature. “Getting to do hands-on teaching was a blessing. I got close to a wonderful community of educators and got to see England,” Bryant said.
For those considering applying to this internship, Bryant shares a piece of advice: “It doesn’t matter what major you are. You’re just competing with other Bates students and have to have an interest in education.”