From our Fabulous Intern

My name is Becky Cressy, and I am the Better World Books/ Sigma Tau Delta Summer Intern of 2011!  I am a rising senior at Plymouth State University, in Plymouth, NH, and have lived in New Hampshire all of my life! At PSU, I am an English Major, with an option in Teacher Certification in grades 5-12, and am also pursuing minors in both Religious Studies and Women’s Studies.  When I am not in class at PSU, I am the student employee of the Women’s Studies Council, a Peer Educator and office worker at the holistic health “Wellness Center”, and a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.  PSU has a “Freshman Abroad” program, and so I spent my first semester of my freshman year studying at Limerick University in Limerick, Ireland!  I am the youngest of five children, and my favorite book is The Giver by Lois Lowery.


When I joined Sigma Tau Delta, in the spring of 2010, I had no idea that a year later I would find myself as an intern for Better World Books (BWB), in Alpharetta, GA.  Before becoming a member of Sigma Tau Delta, I had helped the group with a book drive through BWB, and since then, we have completed two more! As a future English teacher, I loved the idea of working with a company that helped promote literacy around the world, while helping our campus become more sustainable.

After completing our second book drive through Better World Books, I was informed by my BWB contact that there was a unique opportunity available that I should apply for – a 6-week summer internship for a Sigma Tau Delta member who had worked on a book drive through Better World Books! Thinking it was a long shot, but absolutely something I was interested in, I sent in my resume and hoped for the best!  After some interviews and a lot of hoping and wishing, it was announced at the 2011 Sigma Tau Delta Convention that I would be the summer intern at Better World Books!

While in Georgia, (a state that I have never visited before) opportunities that I would never have imagined before have come up for me! I am living at Emory University, in housing set aside for summer interns in the area.  With this community of interns, I am able to share my experience and the experiences of others from all different internships in the area, helping to make my learning experience exponentially larger. In addition to working on research projects in the office, I’ll meet with the managers and VPs of several departments within BWB, allowing me to understand as many aspects of BWB as possible, and the people who make it the unique company that is it. Within the next few weeks, I get to participate in “Atlanta Streets Alive!” on June 25, and hopefully the Amplifying Education book drive with the band Dispatch on June 21!

As I am nearing the half-way point of my internship (I can’t believe how quickly it is flying by!), I have already learned so much from my time with the BWB team!  At BWB, I am constantly reminded that my thoughts and actions are meaningful. While some college students spend their internships making copies and delivering coffee, I have never questioned that I am valued member of the team, and that the research I am doing is important to the company and to the Better World they are striving to create. Everyone here at BWB has made a huge effort to reach out and welcome me into the office, while encouraging me to speak up and ask questions often.  This experience has not only given me insight into the world of social enterprise and good business, but that every single person involved in that business should be valued and encouraged.  This has been (and will continue to be) a wonderful learning and growing experience for me! Thanks BWB!

7 Comments

  1. Dear Becky,

    Sounds like you are putting your intern experience to good use. And having a great positive time as well. Hope it continues to go well for you.

  2. Tom James says:

    Becky,
    You are very fortunate (you knew that)to have this opportunity. When I first started using BWB as my primary online (actually primary, period.)bookseller in 2007 I was intrigued by the fact that here was an online store, with a incredibly large and diverse inventory, prices that often made me laugh (like buying a West’s Business Law, one edition out, for like $3.98), excellent product quality; very good being the equivalent of new in most cases, a staff that obviously enjoyed their work (just between you and me some have said they’d work at BWB for nothing)and reflect not only the mission values of the company, but share those values in their own lives, when all of that was added to the socially active–and proactive–stance of the owners and management, my faith in American small businesses to be innovators and leaders determined to do the right thing and still be successful was reinforced. It sounds to me like you’ve gotten attached there. I am also an English major, about to finish my MA and begin an MFA program. I wanted to teach H.S. ELA, but here in Texas teachers are just above day laborers on the food chain, so I gave up that idea. Now I hope to teach at the next level, in California. And just so you know, I have kept every English text since my UG days, most of them having come from–guess where? Enjoy your time at BWB, there are lots of people who would love to be where you are. Best to you.
    Tom

  3. Becky Cressy says:

    Hey Tom,
    Thanks for the comment! It’s great to hear from you! Believe me, I’m know that I am super lucky to be here gaining this experience. I’m still a bit in awe that I’m even here! Good luck on wrapping up your MA and beginning your MFA. I’m sure California will be lucky to have you!
    Becky

  4. Stephanie and Mason Holland says:

    HI Becky-
    very nice to meet you via BWB website! Just wanted to introduce myself for I am an evangelist for BWB- we are the parents of Dustin Holland (BWB) and live in Atlanta. Sounds like you have had a terrific experience with this company and we are not surprised. Great organization with a wordly purpose and making a difference. Best of luck-

  5. Becky Cressy says:

    Hi Mr. and Mrs. Holland!
    Thank you so much for writing! I’ve loved being here in Atlanta! Everyone here at BWB (including Dustin) has been wonderful to me! So good to hear from you :)

    Joanne- Thank you for the well wishes!!

    -Becky

  6. Hello Becky,
    I’m glad to see a fellow English major intern, as you know it is difficult to find internships for our major. I too am a member of Sigma Tau Delta and would love to intern with BWB. The case is, however, I’m afraid and feel that I am unprepared for the experience. Is there any advise you could give me in regard to this (as well as any) internship experience?

    thank you
    -Tia

  7. Becky Cressy says:

    Hi Tia!
    Thanks for writing! I would say the best thing you can do to gain expereince is try to work within your English department. I’ve been an active member of our Sig Tau chapter, did a work study with one of my professors, and am part of an English mentoring program in our department to help young writers improve. My work study job allows me to do research and take charge of a lot of my own projects, which also helps. Also, develop strong relationships with your professors; they can really help you get more involved in the field, share internship and job opportunities, and write recommendation letters when the time comes.
    Remember, an internship is there to teach YOU and help YOU gain experience. The people at BWB made sure that I was learning and growing while I was there. You should absolutely apply! It was a wonderful experience and I learned SO MUCH while I was there.
    Good Luck! And remember, you won’t know until you try.
    -Becky

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