Donovan '16 Transforms Catholic Charities Internship into Full-Time Position

As a sociology major and student-athlete on the Saints Men’s Lacrosse team, Michael Donovan ’16 was able to blend his love of sports and helping others during his time at Emmanuel and beyond.

In 2014, while a student at Emmanuel, Donovan—and around 20 other student-athletes from Emmanuel—started a job as a part-time security screener at Fenway Park, just a few blocks from campus. Security screeners engage with fans and guests, checking bags and employing other measures to help keep the Park safe during game days, concerts and other special events.

“If you are an Emmanuel student who loves sports and history then Fenway is a great place to work,” Donovan said.

In addition to his part-time job at Fenway, Donovan began charting his future career path as a Basic Needs Intern at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston. There, he worked under the Basic Needs Program, helping with the set-up and distribution of food pantries and assisting clients with SNAP applications while also promoting food programs such as WIC. He also gained administrative experience calling and scheduling meetings with clients.

Along the way, he found that he was able to transfer some of his skills from Fenway Park to Catholic Charities.

“Some skills I was able to transfer are the experiences dealing with a wide variety of people,” Donovan said. “At both Fenway and Catholic Charities, I personally interact with hundreds of people each week. However, not every individual is easy to work with, and Fenway has given me the patience to work through difficult encounters.”

After graduating in May 2016, Donovan was offered a full-time position within Catholic Charities. As a full-time Basic Needs Coordinator in the Food & Nutrition Program, Donovan was in charge of daily operations, while also providing customer service for clients looking to apply for the various food and nutrition services the organization offers, such as SNAP, WIC, nutrition workshops, Thanksgiving baskets and more. Donovan also handled client intakes, coordinated volunteer opportunities and was responsible for food ordering and inventory.

Donovan, whose favorite part of his work was being able to help those in need, says Catholic Charities was a great organization with which to begin his career.

“It was truly a blessing being able to work for an organization whose main objective is to help some of our neediest of neighbors,” he said.

Donovan still works as a non-game-day security staff member, but has recently taken on a new role as a sales development representative for INFINIDAT, an enterprise-level data storage company, which "enables customers to spend less on their infrastructure and focus more on innovation, growth and competitive advantage."

“As a former athlete, I miss being part of a competitive team,” Donovan said. “My favorite part about working for the Red Sox is the sense of being part of a team again. Similar to when Emmanuel wins a game, Fenway is a fun place to be around when the Red Sox are winning, too.”

Michael Donovan is a 2016 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

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