By Alyvia Petrozza,
Urban Youth Intern, UMass Amherst Class of 2022
If you asked me a year ago where I would be now, my answer would be so far off from the reality of it all. While looking for internships a year ago, the Urban Youth Internship program at Incompass Human Services had absolutely nothing to do with what I was hoping to work towards after college. However, pursuing internships, especially during pandemic times, was a difficult endeavor, and I began to think differently about this opportunity to work in human services.
I didn’t know what to expect going in…but as I finish I can say it was a truly transformational experience.
Looking back in hindsight, I would not change a single thing about my decision and my experience at Incompass. Working with the individuals in the day habilitation program brought me immense joy on a day-to-day basis. It wasn’t just about gaining experience and a consistent paycheck; it transformed into pure love and care I held for each individual and my passion to help them in any way that I could as an advocate. I learned that, even though the internship didn’t seem to focus on my intended area of work, I built up this invaluable experience and a fierce passion that is applicable to any path in life I decide to walk. Almost a year later and I still feel like a completely different individual than I was before I stepped into Incompass on that first day.
After my summer internship had finished, I didn’t feel completely disconnected from Incompass— I didn’t want to be. I remembered a time when myself and my fellow interns gathered in a conference room with the chief marking officer, the director of day services and the CEO of Incompass. At the end of our brief meeting, the head of marketing and the director of day services joked that my creative writing specialization would be a great fit for their marketing team. And although it may have started as a mere joke, it piqued my interest. It was a position that was more applicable to my area of study, while allowing me to still serve as an advocate and a voice for all the individuals I worked with in the day hab.
The first Incompass marketing intern!
I reached out to the director of day services and inquired about a potential marketing internship. Since he had worked with me before and knew that I was passionate about Incompass and its mission, he said right away that formulating a new internship within the program for me was something that he would do everything in his power to make happen.
And so, he did. I spent the entirety of my spring semester working as a part of the Incompass marketing team – creating content, posting on social media, and working in tools that are part of the marketing technology stack. I felt confident in bringing my perspective of already having worked with the individuals in the day habilitation program into this marketing role. Working under Chief Marketing Officer Dan Esdale and Marketing & Fundraising Specialist Amaris Torres, I was taught a plethora of things that I never thought I would be exposed to before I graduated – including posting this very story through WordPress on incompasshs.org!
The next chapter…
This internship was truly tailored towards me through and through; we focused on the projects that would grant me just the right amount of experience in all the things that would benefit me in future job opportunities. It is an extremely rewarding feeling to be able to add things on to your resume that will help you stand out amongst other applicants, which is something I whole-heartedly attribute to the marketing team who were nothing but helpful all along the way.
Now that it is coming to an end, I know that my time at Incompass, whether it be in the day hab or working behind the scenes with the marketing team, will always be held near and dear to my heart.