Meeting the Staff: Becca Haley-Park
In this blog series intern Kate E. interviews the staff here at culture: the word on cheese to give you an inside look at a day in the life of this goofy group of cheese-lovers and their work on the magazine you've come to love. Have specific questions for or about our staff? Be sure to send them to staff@culturecheesemag with the subject line, "Meet the Staff".
Here at culture, we’re big fans of pairing cheese with various other things. Cheese and wine is a classic; cheese and fruit is elegant; cheese and chocolate is quirky. But we have a soft spot for cheese and beer pairings. Because of this affinity, two weeks Becca Haley-Park, our social media manager, was on the phone with Martha Paquette, one of the tenant brewers at Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. Along with learning the logistics behind being a tenant brewer (essentially a group of people who rent a brewery to make their own brews), Becca found herself on the editorial side of the magazine, a place she is often too busy to visit.
The responsibility of culture’sonline presence falls under her jurisdiction; with the constant stream of information flowing in from the Internet, Becca’s days are packed with research and updates and posts and pictures. Everyday when the interns come into the office, we are asked to find pieces of news about cheese—or something related—to link to the website. Sounds easy. It is not. Becca has already found every article. We have no idea how she does it, but because of Becca, our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are always up-to-date and engaging.
Becca (left) with one of our founders, Stephanie Skinner, showing off our winter issue.
Before manning the keyboard at our Boston office, Becca was already in love with cheese. While she was completing her bachelor’s in creative writing from the University of Maine at Farmington, her breakfasts typically included Smoked Gouda and Granny Smith apples. When asked about her passion, she responded: “Regardless of any budget I may have put myself on, there are three things I can always rationalize spending money on: good coffee, good alcohol, and good cheese.” Even before college and a limited budget, Becca was consumed by the rich flavors of cheese. A pre-teen trip to Paris introduced her to Brie and Camembert, and she never quite recovered. And we’re just fine with that.
After graduating from college, Becca moved to Boston and became an editorial intern for culture. Her internship ended, but her dedication to the magazine didn’t. Two months into a summer of odd jobs, culture posted an an opening for the social media manager position. Becca responded immediately: “I contacted [the previous web editor], applied, and the rest is history.”
Because of her background in creative writing and interest in creative nonfiction (she will be working towards her MFA in creative writing at Lesley University next winter with a focus on creative nonfiction), she is an expert at making sure that in the vast world of cheese, our social media pages have a cohesive theme that pulls the topics together and keeps our audience in mind at all times.
Becca is “plotting a beer and cheese pairing for the future” with another Boston brewing group, and her piece on tenant brewers (not gypsy brewers, “I guess even those in the beer industry have their own industry PC terms”) will be a part of our summer insert. If you check our social media, you’ll find many Becca-inspired cheese stories, but if you’re patient we can assure that you’ll be seeing more of her talented writing in the magazine soon.