Despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented for in-person experiential learning, English communications majors Anna Cloherty and Isabel Thornton completed incredible remote internships last fall.
Both students interned with Seaside Sustainability, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and restore coastal waters through education and action. Seaside Sustainability organizes project-based learning opportunities so that interns can educate themselves around environmental issues while working towards a more sustainable future.
A Massachusetts native, Cloherty said that the local aspect of the internship was amazing, even though it was a remote experience. “The ocean and beaches are something that are really important to me,” she added. “This internship gave me the opportunity to give back to the community that I had the pleasure of growing up in.”
As the project manager of operations, analytics and platform management, Cloherty supervised other interns, ensured that projects were completed in a timely manner and managed the organization’s website. She led weekly meetings with board members, wrote blog posts, transferred the organization’s email platform from MailChimp to MailerLite, created email marketing templates, designed webpages and made how-to guides for the next cohort of interns.
“One of the biggest projects I took part in was the launch of Seaside’s online store,” Cloherty said. “My job was to ensure functionality of the web store on Seaside’s website. I was a huge undertaking to do in only a few months, but we pulled it off.”
Thornton said the internship was the perfect role for her, as she is passionate about raising awareness of the climate crisis. “It provided me with an opportunity to cross my passion for communications with my passion for sustainability,” she said. “I was especially excited because I saw that I could work in social media, and that is the field I want to enter after graduation. Seaside Sustainability is also a New England organization, so it felt good to know I could make a positive impact on a local community.”
As the project manager of content generation and community management, as well as the newsletter lead, Thornton ensured that content was well-managed across the team. Among other duties, she wrote blog posts, created posts for Seaside Sustainability’s social media accounts and created a content calendar for scheduling.
“I learned how to lead an entire team,” Thornton said. “I also had amazing mentors who are both members of Seaside Sustainability’s board of directors. They taught me how to be a leader and what needed to be done in order to create a positive, successful image of the organization.”