Joseph Rivard provided telecommunications relay and interpreting service for the hearing impaired while exploring career advancement opportunities.
What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection or experience?
I designed an internship experience that allowed me to simultaneously investigate leadership and advancement opportunities at my long-time employer while also considering external opportunities. This dual focus allowed me to do due diligence within a professional relationship that has been beneficial for me (I felt like I owed it to my employer to see what else I could offer them) while also giving me dedicated time and space to explore other opportunities that are perhaps a better match for my interests and skill set.
Also, I’ll mention the most satisfying part of my work, which is knowing that I made a difference in so many people’s lives. For example, my work - providing telecommunications relay and interpreting service for the hearing impaired - allows users access to services that were previously not available to them due to their disability and that contributes to giving them a meaningful life.
How was the internship related to your Applied Humanities degree?
This experience worked well with my Applied Humanities degree because it allowed me to continue doing something I was good at, paying my bills, and working for an employer that is not profit motivated in a humanistic field serving a community of disadvantaged people. Contributing my skills to make the experiences of people with hearing impairment more equitable is in line with my values.
Also, this company has been a pioneer and innovator. The design thinking aspect of my Applied Humanities undergraduate program and understanding of the needs of a community will help me find the next big solution for problems of inequity and inequality.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for or begin their internship?
Be mindful of your capabilities and humanity. There might be times where you can’t live up to your own expectations because you are human. That does not mean you aren’t capable, and it doesn’t mean you are defective or deficient. You will do the things that are meant for you when you are meant to and can handle them.