The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Internship Sparks Senior Caitlin Verdi's Interest in Social Work

Caitlin Verdi '17

While many students choose to intern over the summer, some intern throughout the school year. Caitlin Verdi ’17 (sociology) is currently interning at Independence House, a resource center for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, located in Hyannis, MA.

“I’ve done different tasks ranging from answering hotline phone calls to shadowing appointments,” Verdi describes. “A lot of training is required in this line of work, so I’ve also been exposed to a wealth of knowledge about the dynamics of abuse and violence.”

Verdi says she’s learned so much from her coworkers at the resource center. “I’m able to apply different concepts I’ve learned to the stories and lessons I’ve received from the experienced staff here. I’ve also learned what combating violence and supporting survivors looks like in practice. It’s not easy, but the work is important and it’s been incredibly valuable to see different steps in the process.”

Because her internship is ten credits, Verdi is currently located in Hyannis to focus the majority of her time on working at Independent House. She is also taking an independent study for two credits to remain a full time student. While at UMass, the classes she took within the sociology department and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) enlightened her about the power dynamics that occur with domestic and sexual abuse survivors. Verdi has been able to analyze and better understand the experiences of survivors at Independence House because of the education she received in her courses at UMass.

Verdi advises students thinking about interning away from UMass to be conscientious of their scheduling abilities and constraints. “Make sure you have enough hours to fulfill your desired amount of credits, while also keeping in mind your other commitments such as a job… or taking time to eat or sleep!”

After UMass, Verdi plans to pursue some aspect of social work. “This internship has allowed me to dive into the deep end of what that can look like from the lens of a domestic and sexual violence resource center, so it’s been helpful to see the type of work I’ll be doing following graduation.”

If you’re interested in an internship, please visit the& SBS Career & Professional Development Center for resources, tips, and to make an appointment with an advisor.