Internship: International Communications and Event Planning – MESA
Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA) seeks an International Communications and Event Planning Intern who is able to assist with organization of our annual 4-day exit seminar in October as well as maintain connections with our international program participants. The internship requires 1.5- 2 days per week in our Berkeley, CA office, and a four-month commitment.
MESA connects food and farming changemakers worldwide to rebuild the food system, linking ancestral knowledge with innovation to strengthen earth stewardship, equitable economies and cross-cultural alliances. MESA’s model is rooted in experiential and participatory education that blends hands-on experience and online agroecology curriculum with intergenerational and cross-cultural collaboration. MESA facilitates seasonal programs for farmers, students, activists, educators and agripreneurs to live and train at farms, education centers, community organizations and businesses promoting resilient food systems. Since 1997, MESA has connected 1400 changemakers from 32 countries and helped fund 142 ecological farms and food justice projects spearheaded by hosts and alumni. This year’s Stewards hail from South Korea, Haiti, Peru, Brazil, Grenada, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Thailand.
Each October, MESA hosts an annual exit-seminar for stewards to celebrate the end of their six-month hands-on training program. Although a general plan for the week is established, each year we explore new activities and excursion options for the group. Some of the activities in the past have included workshops led by leaders in the sustainable food movement, urban garden and farm tours around the Bay Area and fun outings in San Francisco. The Exit Seminar week includes a Cultural Cuisine Celebration dinner for the Stewards, which has evolved into a fundraiser event attended by MESA supporters.
International Communications Responsibilities:
The intern will work in collaboration with key staff to cultivate Steward and Host communications including:
- Participation in and leading discussions during online chat sessions with international Steward group
- Social media outreach to current Stewards, Hosts, and program Alumni
- Reading and crafting responses to monthly Steward reports via online learning system (Moodle)
- Designing, sending, and analyzing online surveys for Stewards
- (Optional) Attending National Heirloom Expo September 8-10 to promote MESA programs and meet local Stewards and Hosts
Event Planning Responsibilities:
The intern will collaborate and/or lead planning of some of our most important events of the year including Exit Seminar activities and Cultural Cuisine Dinner. The intern will work closely with MESA’s Head Event Planner, MESA staff and Board Members to:
- Assist and/or lead planning and facilitation of activities for multicultural group of global farm stewards
- Solicit in-kind donations from food vendors, restaurants, and local businesses
- (Optional) Lead or assist cooking meals for steward group during week (around 12 people)
- Help arrange schedule and travel logistics for MESA Staff and Stewards
Duties Specifically for Cultural Cuisine Night
- Timely coordination with event venue, vendors, MESA Staff and Board
- Assist management of event day volunteers
- Assist with writing web content and email marketing for events
- Social media and event-related outreach, before and after
- Participate in post-event analysis and follow-up, help assess opportunities and make recommendations for future improvements
12-16 hours/week for 4 months, with possible opportunity to extend. Start date beginning of September through end of December. Must be available for the week of October 19-23.
$300 monthly stipend. Reimbursement for any additional event-related travel costs (i.e. donation pick-ups, vendor visits, etc.).
Skills and Qualifications:
- Outgoing and confident with the ability to self-manage
- Passion and commitment to sustainable agriculture, food justice and equitable food systems is desired
- Excellent communications skills and experience communication with non-native English speakers a plus
- Proficiency in Excel, Word and Google Docs
- Strong writing skills and experience using Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Familiarity with the SF Bay Area, has own car (not required, but a plus)
- Detail oriented and can coordinate between multiple parties in a timely manner
- Previous event planning experience, cooking for groups, and/or connections to Bay Area sustainable industries is highly recommended.
Please email a cover letter and resume (writing sample optional). Applications may be submitted immediately. We will close the search when we find the right candidate.
Michelle Roses Wight Program Coordinator and Head Event Planner