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Beetle Press has been a hot spot for Westfield State University English interns; it is a local public relations and communications firm that assists lesser-known organizations gain recognition in their respective communities.
During the 2015 semester, the English department had a total of three interns there: Vanessa Pesa, Maddie Cicitto, and Timothy Schreiner. Each intern had access to different aspects of the firm.
Vanessa Pesa said that she was focusing on the "creative aspect of Beetle Press." She was in charge of Janice Beetle's Facebook author page: "I wrote and posted blogs to her author site, interviewed local authors about their experience, and I assisted in editing her novel!" Vanessa expressed love for her internship and added that "the internship taught me how to network with people, how to write more clearly and concisely, and overall how to feel more confident about my writing and about my ability to handle myself in a professional setting."
While Vanessa worked closely with Janice, Tim worked more independently writing interviews: "I mostly worked with Mill River Business Networking International. I met with members for interviews and talked [with them]. Then I wrote articles and posted them on the Beetle Press Website in order to promote these members. I also wrote daily Facebook posts for them." Tim also noted that he wrote an article that was published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette about a Relay for Life event.
Maddie noted how much she valued all of the experience she got from the internship and how it helped her "become more confident in her writing."
These comments echoed what 2013 and 2014 interns Billi MacTighe and Alaina Leary have said of their experiences. Billi boasted that her work as an intern "prepared me to step into the 'real world.' I am honored to still be working with Janice today." Both Billi and Alaina have turned their internships into paying freelance assignments with Beetle Press. Alaina said she "learned about multiple career paths and gained confidence [in her writing]."
An internship at Beetle Press is best suited for students who are independent, hardworking, and focused on taking their writing skills to the next level. Skills they will have the opportunity to develop and strengthen include interviewing skills, journalistic writing, editing, and writing press releases.