Kathy Muhr and Christina Scott

Summer Intern Gains Opportunity to Network and Grow Career

A summer internship for a college student is a dream come true. But getting an internship two summers in a row for the same company? Now that’s what I call lucky. I have been a summer intern twice for Commonwealth Medicine (the consulting division of UMass Medical School (UMMS)) in Shrewsbury, MA. Last summer (2018) I interned for the IT/digital marketing department and this summer (2019) I am an intern for the Work Without Limits team as part of the UMMS Emerging Professionals Summer Internship Program (EPSIP).

Group of interns with certificates of completion

Last summer, my goal as an intern was to help create new website descriptions using a program called Site Improve. I also created Excel spreadsheets with the data from Site Improve. The other half of my internship last summer was assisting with preparation for the IT Expo by creating a PowerPoint presentation and near the end of my internship, I trained on the Salesforce Trailhead website.

My main responsibilities this summer with the Work Without Limits team was to help with market research. I identified conferences, forums, and events that Work Without Limits could present at or exhibit at to educate others about the importance of disability inclusion in the workplace and to gain more exposure for Work Without Limits. I created an 18-month events calendar for the team and added these events to it along with all the trainings and career related events Work Without Limits already does.  Additionally, I researched foundations that Work Without Limits could apply to help expand and evolve their programs and I  transferred current PowerPoint presentations into the new Commonwealth Medicine format, updated flyers, created ads, and helped with social media including piloting a brand new Instagram page for Work Without Limits.

I have learned the value of working in the real world. Being part of a team is not easy, but I learned that if you work hard, a good result will come out at the end. Both these internship experiences have given me the confidence to show the world what I can do and not focus on what I cannot do. I know I can take the skills that I have learned and use them once I graduate from college. I know that obstacles may get in my way, but these internships have given me the confidence to prove that I can get over them and achieve anything. I feel that internships are important because they give you an opportunity to network and gain experience.

To connect with Christina for any questions regarding internships, please connect with her via LinkedIn:

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Brian Forsythe

Meet the Work Without Limits Team: Brian Forsythe

What is your name, title, and role with Work Without Limits?

Brian Forsythe, Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC). I provide Public Benefits Counseling to individuals with disabilities receiving SSDI and SSI who are working or looking for work.

How long have you held this position?

I’ve been at UMMS for ten years and eight years as a CWIC prior to joining UMMS.

What is the best part of your job?

Meeting with clients one to one to help them understand that it is possible to work while receiving Social Security benefits and that in fact they will be better off by working.

Brian conducting training

Do you have any special skills, interests or hobbies?

I enjoy developing and conducting training’s to help service providers understand how they can better serve the needs of their clients.

What is your best advice for job seekers?

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on employment.  The satisfaction you get from a job well done far outweighs any anxiety about possible changes to public benefits.

What is your best advice for employers seeking a more inclusive and/or diverse workforce?

Look past a person’s perceived limitations and focus on their skill set.  Individuals with disabilities are usually capable of much more than you think.  They may do things differently, but they can do them.

What is your favorite place in the world?

The coast of Maine.