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March 6, 2023 | Internships, Telling Stories
Risks and Rewards
By: Peyton Hicks
One of my many lifelong goals is for my work to be my passion. As a Communication Public Relations Major at Champlain College, I aspire to work in the ski industry affection and dedication. And as the current Marketing Communications Intern for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, my aspirations and applied coursework has well prepared me for the internship.
My time at Champlain College has been nothing short of a wild ride. My freshman year was cut in half because of a Global Pandemic. I almost transferred my sophomore year, virtual classes were adopted, and I switched my major twice. And oddly enough, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Going into my freshman year, I knew I loved working with kids, and I knew I loved skiing. My goal was to ideally combine the two. So I decided to declare myself as an Early Education Major. Post pandemic I began my first field placement in a fir1st grade classroom. Although it was my first and last day at that internship, I was one step closer to finding the right career path. I needed to explore my laundry list of passions that lingered with curiosity in the back of my mind. Aside from working with children, I still wanted to travel, ski and write– and I couldn’t do that being a teacher. I needed a new plan. And I knew I needed to follow my dreams.
Junior year I took the risk of doing a complete 180 and declared myself a Communication Major. I challenged myself to new classes, different coursework, and opened up a whole new world: the world of Communications. With a major in Communications, I knew I could explore other fields within the ski industry that could align with my strengths. And with a degree, I knew I wasn’t limited to a job only working in a classroom. I could explore my other passions and interests, while making the most out of my learning experiences.
In the Fall of 2022, I took another risk of taking 6 classes plus a part time internship. In my mind, I knew I wanted to gain as much experience as I could, as fast as I could. Despite how many uncontrollable life events held me back, I pulled through with flying colors. I put my head down, did my best work, and I became one step closer to connecting with my passion. Though I enjoyed many aspects of working at an agency, my curiosity influenced me to apply to a nonprofit organization: Vermont Adaptive.
This January, I began my as the Marketing Communications Intern with Vermont Adaptive. TheOur organization empowers all athletes with disabilities through recreational sports on and off the snow. With a background in coaching, skiing and working with kids with disabilities, this organization couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for me. Coming into the internship, I was excited, ambitious and eager for new opportunities, connections and experiences. Today, I am still that excited, ambitious and eager girl ready to learn even more. Although I feel like I’ve already done so much work, there’s still even more work to be accomplished. And I can’t wait to see where that takes me.
On a Wednesday/ Friday basis, the internship takes me to the mountains: Sugarbush Mt. Ellen, Bolton Valley, and on some occasions, Pico Mountain. I’ve shadowed on-snow lessons at Bolton Valley and Sugarbush, attended events, created several Instagram reels, written multiple press releases, created press lists, written athlete bios, and my favorite– blog posts. Back in February, I attended the Annual United States Association of Blind Athletes Winter Festival (USABA) at Pico Mountain. I skied with many different groups, met so many people, and even created an Instagram reel capturing the day.
Although it’s only March, I can’t wait to see where my work with Vermont Adaptive takes me. And I can’t wait to take more risks, because it led me to immense growth and where I am today.
Want to apply to be an intern at Vermont Adaptive? We’re looking for summer interns for 2023 – apply here.