Marketing and Communications Intern
There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than the first day of anything — school, a new job, an internship, you name it. But what’s even more difficult is taking on something completely unknown. With that in mind, you can understand my nerves as I walked into Sylvia Group headquarters for my first day as an intern at an agency specializing in insurance, employee benefits and financial services.
I had learned about the position from Amelia Alburn, the internship director at UMass Dartmouth, who thought the job would be a “good fit” for me. I knew nothing about insurance except that I had it, but my education in marketing and English made me feel qualified enough to put myself out there. Boy, am I glad I did.
When Sylvia Group offered me the Marketing and Communications internship, I happily accepted — but then terror set in. While my duties would primarily be within the marketing department, I still needed a basic understanding of insurance, benefits and financial services to succeed at my job.
Over the course of my first few days, I met with nearly every individual who works at Sylvia Group. Though more than 30 back-to-back meetings in two days was slightly overwhelming, it was an incredibly beneficial, positive experience. Learning about each role painted the bigger picture for me, helping me understand the inner-workings of the company and the industry. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and eager to talk to me about their various responsibilities. They seemed to genuinely care about my own personal background as well, and they assured me that they would always be willing to answer any questions I would encounter along the way. Any anxiety I had about entering into an industry previously foreign to me quickly dissolved.
During my year at Sylvia Group, I've worked closely with Vin Sylvia, the agency's Director of Marketing and Communications. Like the rest of the employees here, Vin has made me feel incredibly welcome. He trusted me with challenging projects, gave me many opportunities to learn the basics of the industry and validated that this was the career path I would like to head down. I felt treated as an equal, not just an inexperienced intern who might have been in the way.
People often joke about internships, that they’re more about fetching coffee than gaining any practical experience. At Sylvia Group, this is not the mindset at all. I felt as though I was actually contributing something, not just doing the work that no one else wanted to do. I produced valuable marketing materials for the company, assisting in the creation of print and digital marketing content. I helped assemble presentation books, drafted blog posts, updated and created various website pages, and even became certified in Inbound Marketing through Sylvia Group’s marketing platform, HubSpot.
While I've studied English and communications in college, what has been most valuable about this internship is that I have had the chance to take what I’ve been learning in the classroom and apply it in a professional setting. This position has also demonstrated the importance of marketing and certainly prepared me for my career after graduation.
Through this internship, I've learned what it feels like to be a valued employee in a welcoming, professional atmosphere. Sylvia Group truly is a team of friendly, smart, genuine people who care deeply about their clients, their co-workers and the work that they do.
Sylvia Group recently adopted the slogan “We Make a Difference.” And, for me, they’ve done exactly that.
To apply for the position that's made such a difference for me, click on the button below.
About Nicole Belair and Sylvia Group
A talented writer, fast learner and all-around nice person, Nicole Belair graduates from UMass Dartmouth this week with a bachelor's degree in English. Sylvia Group has been very fortunate to have her as a Marketing and Communications intern.
Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, employee benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.
Students who have worked as interns at Sylvia Group during the past three years have gone on to positions including account executive at Racpoint Global in Boston, email marketing specialist at Displays2go in Fall River, script intern for "Late Night with Seth Meyers" at NBC Universal Media in New York City, and account executive here at Sylvia Group.