By Kayla Fontaine
Vanessa Pesa has found a passion for philanthropy through her work as marketing operations coordinator at Berkshire Bank.
A year after her graduation from Westfield State University, Vanessa, a former Beetle Press intern, works in the bank’s marketing department, and Vanessa appreciates how the bank frees up employees for paid volunteer services, through its program called XTEAM.
“This is so generous and really fun for us to be able to get out there and participate,” says Vanessa. “At the end of the day, if I’m not delivering a check to a nonprofit as part of a bank sponsorship, we are out there immersed in our communities, which is, I think, more noteworthy than a monetary donation.”
In Vanessa’s position at the bank, she writes and distributes press releases to the media, but she also facilitates sponsorships and oversees and places all orders for the bank’s marketing materials—everything from pens to uniforms.
“I think having the ability to be a part of the sponsorships gives a bit of fulfillment in the sense that I get to see firsthand how our dollars benefit the local communities in all the regions that Berkshire Bank serves,” Vanessa says. “I see the sponsorship process through from start to finish, and having the chance to hear from these individuals firsthand and hear how appreciative they are of the donations is a great experience. We tend to support requests that benefit education and community development, which run concurrent with my values.”
Having blogged a great deal while working with Janice, Vanessa is also trying to start a blog at the bank.
Vanessa earned an English degree with a literature concentration. She completed her internship with Janice in her final semester, in the spring of 2015, and after graduation, Vanessa stayed on with Janice on a freelance basis, doing research for various book clients, overseeing Janice’s social media, and writing and publishing blog posts.
Vanessa credits her success now to the hands-on experience in writing, editing and developing a distinct voice that she gained through working with Janice.
“My most beneficial experience was the ability to read and edit Janice’s manuscript for Unleashing the Sun,” she says.
“Though my career is currently not exactly in the editing field, that is where I eventually aspire to be, and the practice I garnered through working with the manuscript was invaluable,” Vanessa says. “I was able to hone my editing skills while learning the submission process, something I have always wanted to understand and finally was able to delve into more deeply due to Janice’s book.”