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What I Learned from my Summer Internship at Culture

Has it really been a summer? In a way, it feels like the process of coming into my internship at culture was longer than the job itself. Perhaps it is because there is a weird balance between how normal the workday seems and how bizarre everyone I explain it to thinks it must be. My small talk game is through the roof ever since I started working at culture—I can’t make it three sentences into any conversation before I’m talking about gouda. In that sense, the office is a respite—nobody second-guesses my occupation here. When did writing for a cheese magazine become normal for me?

There is definitely something to say for going in to work every day with the thought, “I wonder what possible thing I will write about cheese today?” That was always the most pleasant surprise of my day—the moment in the morning, sitting with a cup of coffee and 20 tabs open in Chrome, when I figured out the subject of my Cheese Bite blog post for that day. I would let the article unfold in front of my minds eye over the course of about 15 seconds, at which point I would tell [culture web guy] Grant where my intentions were. That’s probably the aspect of my job that I will remember best.

There is a lot to be had from working at culture, and that goes beyond the cheese tastings. In the process of pouring over scientific journals and visiting a goat farm, I gained the privilege of doing my own expose on raw milk, writing substantial content of which I’m proud. I conducted interviews, did original research, and found myself linking every bit of news trivia to the world of dairy. More than a line item on a resume or a bristling portfolio of published work, I think the greatest reward is that moment in which the article is conceived. Culture taught me to value that moment, and through practice I got better and more efficient at finding it. An internship is necessarily short lived, and there is only so much you can extract from 10 weeks. If that is all that sticks, though, I think it will prove well worth it. I hope the cheese knowledge stays too, although I doubt I’ll have artisan makers stocking my fridge any time in the future. Who knows—maybe Cabot will read this and send me some aged cheddar (*clears throat*).

This might be the last thing I ever write about cheese, so thanks for reading! Keep cheesin’ it folks.

Robbie Herbst

Robbie Herbst is a summer editorial intern and an undergrad at Dartmouth College, where he enjoys access to the unimaginably quaint cheese-makers of the upper valley. When he isn’t writing or playing violin, he likes to take bricks of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar on long hikes through the White Mountains.