Field Work Term

Starting Somewhere

There’s something to be said for starting small in big places. These Bennington students prove it.

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A student’s first Field Work Term is often a starting place. It is an opportunity to get exposure to the rhythms of work, to immerse yourself in the professional culture, or simply to live and work in a dream location. Because Bennington requires students to complete four Field Work Terms before they graduate, students can use each FWT opportunity for different purposes, building one experience on another.

Nathan Paul interned with Sony Studios for his first Field Work Term. “I had an opportunity to learn about post-production sound editing, what it is to work in these departments, and the politics of the industry. Beyond building contacts, which I will plan to do by pursuing other film industry internship opportunities for my future Field Work Terms, I learned a lot about how dedicated and devoted people have to be in order to find success in this field. It was obvious that if I wanted to continue to go after work in the film industry, I should be prepared to spend a lot of time at work in the trenches—a lot of time. You don’t learn that kind of thing in class; you figure that out in the field.”

“For my Field Work Term, I worked on a competitive research project at the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather,” Syd Gonzales says. “I didn’t expect to be given so much responsibility for my first FWT, but it taught me a lot and helped me practice my communications skills. It’s one thing to research, it’s another thing to translate what I found to a team of people and make sure they understand it.”

Sarah Goldsmith got a lot of entry-level library experience during her first Field Work Term at Viacom. She learned how to catalogue, archive, shelve—and she was enthusiastic about the opportunity. Her supervisor was delighted because Sarah found the internship that was made for her by being exact and specific about where she saw herself fitting in at Viacom—and as her supervisor said—that made all the difference.