For almost a month now, I have been lucky enough to be the Communications and Research Intern at The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM). With the goal of increasing gender equity in the region, WFWM is thoroughly invested in the well-being of all those who identify as women in the four regions of Western Mass. Through grant-making, partnering with local organizations, and facilitating leadership programs, WFWM has achieved incredible change throughout Massachusetts and has strong goals to continue this success. While the office was previously located in Springfield, the entire staff is working remotely so I am doing the same. Luckily, my few worries about a virtual job (zoom fatigue, disconnect from other workers, feeling like I can’t ask questions) have been proven wrong, as the six other staff members have figured out an effective strategy using the Microsoft Office suite to stay connected and productive.
As the Communications and Research Intern, my job encompasses a large number of tasks. Overall, I assist the Community Engagement and Research Manager with her duties involving social media/marketing efforts and the new research she is aiding in. So far, this has involved looking through their social media accounts and finding ways in which they can improve their reach and accessibility. Largely, I have spent my days editing their series called “Wait…What!?” which is a bimonthly zoom seminar in which they invite local people, activists, and experts to talk about social issues that are currently in popular culture, adding a local lens to it. For example, just a few weeks ago there was a fantastic episode entitled “Reproductive Justice and the Future of Roe v. Wade” which included two women speaking about the many different ways you can procure a safe abortion (even through telehealth!), the dangers of “crisis pregnancy centers,” and how to order abortion pills online. Given the news this week, I believe this is a wonderful episode to watch, especially with the information specific to Massachusetts within it.
While my last month has been filled with primarily video editing, there are several things that I am looking forward to in the next month and a half at WFWM. Firstly, my supervisor is very involved in one of the Women’s Fund’s new initiatives, the Greater Springfield Women’s Economic Security Hub. This project is focused on collecting community-driven research data to discover obstacles to women’s economic security. In the next few days, once the research portion is complete, I will begin to help edit and refine the report. Additionally, I will hopefully get to conduct my own research as I plan a social media campaign for the fall. Lastly, while this internship is remote I have had the opportunity to go to one in-person event thus far to take photos and there will be a few more in-person programs that I am looking forward to.
Looking back on my goals (listed below), I feel as if I have already made a dent in completing them and I can see a clear path to accomplishing them by the end of the summer.
Academic Goal: Learn how to conduct and manage research, and how to present it clearly.
Career Goal: Make tangible connections in the non-profit world to enhance job prospects for a career in the non-profit industry after graduation.
Personal Goal: Build confidence in decision-making and expand upon creative pursuits and skillsets.
-Esther Daube-Valois, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts Communications and Research Intern