Internship: Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Interns’ Inclusive Internship Preparation Program (I2P2) led Carlos Vizcardo Benites to an internship at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. That internship led to a formal job offer, working part-time as he finishes his associate’s degree and prepares for a career in finance.
Carlos, a student at Berkshire Community College studying business administration, discovered the I2P2 Program, which helps students from underrepresented communities access mentorship, resume help, and other career development activities. The word “inclusive” stood out to him, “but I also needed help on my resume and cover letter skills,” he said. “My resume wasn’t structured correctly and my cover letter didn’t say the things it needed to say.”
I2P2 helped Carlos with that, and matched him with George Ambriz as a mentor. George is assistant dean of student affairs at BCC, and he, like Carlos, is fluent in Spanish. It was a good match—they were able to meet frequently since Carlos was regularly on campus. Explained Carlos, originally from Peru, “there was that connection. My I2P2 mentor has been really helpful as someone I can talk to with any questions and someone I can rely on.”
As a Berkshire Museum marketing and engagement intern, Carlos did a little bit of everything, from community outreach to digitizing exhibition information to processing invoices to assisting with logistics and organization for the museum’s annual gala.
Carlos said a highlight was helping with the gala— “I never really thought I’d be part of that,” he said. “It was wonderful—I got to see the dynamics of outside and inside event prep and all the hard work that goes into that, which was amazing.”
Like all of the students placed through Lever’s Berkshire Interns Program, Carlos enjoyed full-time work while being paid Massachusetts minimum wage, allowing him to earn enough money to help with college expenses. Lever contributed $1,500 to the Museum toward Carlos’s stipend, supported by gifts from the Gilson Family Foundation and MountainOne.
As he finishes his BCC degree and works at the Berkshire Museum, Carlos is planning his next steps—he hopes to continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree at a school with an excellent business program, then become a financial analyst or advisor. He plans to focus on helping the Latino community with money management and helping immigrants to the U.S. find benefits and services.
“I’ve gotten a lot of help in the U.S.,” he said. “I want to help the Latino community make more money and get help from the government. There are many different types of help you can get, and some immigrants are afraid to go to the government to get it. If they know the right way to do that, they can prosper.”