Andrew McBee's FFAC Internship Experience

Hello everyone, my name is Andrew McBee. I am a fifth-year senior going for my BA in Sociology with a minor in Economics at Western Washington University. After successfully completing my education, I hope to pursue a career in Environmental Sociology, advocating for progressive cultural and societal changes on both the micro and macro level. In addition to school, I enjoy competing in intramural soccer leagues at WWU and exploring the natural beauty Western Washington and Bellingham have to offer.

I recently completed an internship with the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC). I learned of the internship opportunity from one of my professors, Cameron Whitley. After looking into the position, I was intrigued by the chance to work alongside a team full of like-minded individuals. One of the main reasons I was interested in working at FFAC was that I would be able to create numerous connections while also learning more about a topic I had only recently been exposed to.

FFAC is a nonprofit based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was started to educate and empower individuals and communities to seek sustainable food options. The program I participated in was the FFAC National College Internship Program. The application process was quick and efficient, with clear steps. Requirements were well defined and easy to follow. When applying for this internship or any internship, make sure you are prompt in your responses should you be contacted. Once your application is submitted, you may be asked to do an interview and you need to be ready and available. FFAC was a new experience for me and required an open mind to participate. I would encourage anyone pursuing an internship with FFAC to adopt a similar open mindset.

After being offered the position, I had many different daily and weekly tasks to complete. A few of these included reviewing research articles, videos, and engaging in project work. We were not limited to one specific project but could complete multiple projects in our interest areas. During online meetings throughout the week, we were tasked with mentoring a high school student. Being a mentor was a huge part of my role at FFAC and taught me a lot about leadership, mentoring and education. Most of my time was spent learning best practices for teaching and then engaging in teaching about animal cruelty and plant-based food options.

FFAC brought me many memorable experiences, however, if I had to choose a specific highlight of the summer term it would be all the friendships and connections I made. I think most of my colleagues would agree that when covering such sensitive, and for most of us, new topics it can be very awkward and intimidating at first. With the support and guidance of our cohort leaders and everyone at FFAC it made for a very educational and welcoming environment.

Moving forward, the experience I gained at FFAC will allow me to take on new leadership opportunities. The connections and continued support of the FFAC cohort and staff have already been extremely beneficial. I have also decided to pursue the Continuing Internship at FFAC. This will open many avenues over the next six months, including the opportunity to be a more permanent part of the team. FFAC offers a great number of connections to create or

expand your professional network. Whether it be with FFAC or another environmental justice organization, I recommend seeking an internship to be put education into practice.

Internships assist in skill development, help you make personal and professional connections, and may also turn into permanent positions. The Sociology Department at WWU has a great internship program where you can learn about various opportunities.

Andrew McBee Smiling Headshot