As a third year undergraduate, I joined Epoch Elder Care as an intern in the marketing team. This was the first time that I had heard of this kind of assisted living and dementia care in India and was unsure of what to expect. Due to the pandemic, the last few months had felt empty and I was eager to start doing something more productive with my time. I had a rough idea of what the Epoch philosophy is, and it made me feel like I would be working somewhere that is trying to make a difference in people’s lives. This, along with my interest in graphic design is what made me choose this role. I expected regular marketing responsibilities, something that I had done in the past and was comfortable with.

However, my experience has been very different from what I imagined, in the best way. Epoch is the first organization where I have seen such a high level of involvement from people across different roles. Over four months, something that I liked best was how I got to interact with so many different people on the team. Especially now that things have moved online, I never expected to get to know people beyond the marketing team. This has truly been an enriching experience.

Something else that I found really striking is how every member of the team, no matter what their role, knows the residents- their quirks, habits and mannerisms. One would expect that this be true for the care team, who interacts with them every day, but I found that the connect that each person has with the elderly people living here is special. By talking to different people over these few months, I have got to learn so much about many of the residents. Each person has had a new and interesting titbit to share with me, making me realize how much they care, paying attention to every last detail. It is then that I began to understand how Epoch feels less like a company and more like a family, with no hierarchical barriers and everyone able to lean on each other for the support required. I interacted with a few residents as well, and hearing their stories, I could relate so much to the tales that I was told by my grandparents when I was younger.

This is what I found most special about Epoch- it is an organization that revolves around its residents and really knowing them as people, and not just as clients or patients. Unlike previous internships, I think that this is one where I have grown immensely. Everyone is really helpful, and I felt like a valued team member. This ensures that one feels self-motivated, an important aspect in any job. I was responsible for certain projects that I had complete ownership of and at the same time had the opportunity to assist with things that I wasn’t as comfortable doing independently. Apart from learning some really interesting things about dementia and its care, I think that this experience has taught me the importance of one’s work culture and surroundings, ownership and how each little task impacts an entire organization. These are skills and lessons that I will take with me and will always be grateful for.

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