Eastern Region English Careers Membership Opportunities Society Wide

Better World Books 2013 Internship

Joe Gallagherby Joe Gallagher
Alumnus, Plymouth State University
Plymouth, NH

My experience with Sigma Tau Delta and Better World Books has been absolutely perfect. I love writing, traveling, and being involved with social enterprise. So for me there couldn’t have been a better opportunity.

Joe at the Natural Bridge in Virginia
At the Natural Bridge in Virginia

Right away I just want to say how much fun this has already been. I was excited when Jozi Hall offered me the opportunity, but even more so when I learned I’d be living in Atlanta this summer. The generous stipend Sigma Tau Delta provided made everything possible. Driving over a thousand miles from New Hampshire to Georgia was something I looked forward to doing after completing my degree at Plymouth State. I sampled just about every deli and burger spot down the Eastern seaboard and even stopped at the Natural Bridge in Virginia.

My first few weeks here in Atlanta went down smooth. The first moment of culture shock happened when a driver (willingly) let me into his lane on the interstate, and that’s been very telling of my time down here. I’m glad to be working with such a friendly team at Better World Books. From day one everyone has been approachable and reached out to me.

As a former student who has run a campus book drive, it’s interesting to be on the other side of things. I’m developing content for the marketing and acquisitions teams. It will be used to support localized book drives for literacy around the world. Drawing on my experience as a student, I’m creating resources and support to make the process easier for campuses. I’m learning a ton from Tommy Stubblefield (my editor and photographer) and Diane Maier, who have both been very patient and helpful with my project.

Joe at the CNN Center
Joe at the CNN Center

It has been rewarding to contribute to global literacy through such a great organization. In college we’re filled with these “save the world” concepts that don’t always translate to the real world, but here those principles are practiced every day. It’s cool to see philanthropy and sustainability weighed into business conversation. I’m proud to play a part in what’s happening down here, if only for six weeks.

My housing accommodation at the Georgia State University commons was better than I could have imagined. I’m living with a community of summer interns from around the world and can see the Braves Stadium from my window. We’ve already shared some laughs and had great times out around the city. I can fall out of bed and be in downtown Atlanta. There’s jazz culture and nightlife within walking distance on any given night. And the food in itself has been an adventure.

I’m grateful to Sigma Tau Delta and Better World Books for giving me this unique opportunity. A year ago I never would have imagined such an experience would come from getting involved with  a student organization.