We Work Here
Every Bennington student, every winter spends seven weeks at work in the world pursuing jobs, internships, and entrepreneurial endeavors related to their studies, their professional ambitions, and their own curiosities.
According to a survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace, the single most important credential for a college graduate entering the workforce is internship experience. The survey, which targeted 50,000 employers who recruit and hire recent graduates, also found that demonstrated capacities to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems are more highly valued than where an applicant studied, what an applicant studied, or even what grades an applicant received.
When employers ask us how it is that undergraduates from a small liberal arts college are going head-to-head and toe-to-toe with seasoned professionals, we credit the Plan and Field Work Term—pillars of a Bennington education from the College's inception. By the time they graduate, Bennington students have acquired at least four jobs or internship experiences and a deep understanding of what they want to do. They are able to navigate challenges, translate abstract ideas into tangibles; they have an uncanny facility for collaboration and communication; and they are comfortable negotiating the known and the unknown.
Below are just a few examples of how students develop their ideas in the classroom, and then test those ideas where it counts—through hands-on work in the world.
Bennington’s Plan process—which integrates coursework and FWT experiences—encourages students like Nush Laywhyee '19 to tackle governmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Bennington’s experiential education allows students like Z Winters-Derevjanik '20 to assemble a toolbox of skills, which prepares them to become leaders in their chosen fields.
Elizabeth Fox '20 has used her FWT experiences to explore how the Vermont government works at various levels.
At the UK-based startup Trainline, Zanna Huth '20 applied her creative skill set to marketing and data management...and wrote a rap along the way.
When Bennington alumni mentor current students during FWT, the time is invaluable to both. That's what Madeline Peterson '19 learned as an ecology intern at Syracuse University's Fridley Lab, run by Jason Fridley '97.
After a FWT experience at a tech startup, Lili Española ’20 discovered how a business perspective can guide their Bennington studies.
How can food capture what makes a community distinctive? In both her FWT experiences and her Senior Work, Isabella Poulos '18 studies the intersection of food, art, and community.
How one Bennington intern stunned the Boston Mayor’s office.
How one astronomy student has used Field Work Term to amass more experience than most graduate students.
A single Field Work Term internship changed everything.
There’s something to be said for starting small in big places. These Bennington students prove it.
A selection of recent alumni making waves in the world of work early in their careers.