Alyssa Croteau

Age: 
25
Employer: 
Auclair Funeral Home in Fall River, MA
Alyssa Croteau - FMC Alumni Profile

What made you decide on a career in the funeral industry?

I lost my younger cousin, he was 9, I was 13, in a tragic accident. The funeral director that helped my family was so amazing that I wanted to be just like him.

How has this career choice affected your personal life?

It has affected me in many ways. I work a lot, so I don't have much time to do leisurely things. On call nights affect going out with my friends. But, it has humbled me to not take each day for granted and I have learned a lot of compassion and patience.

What is your favorite part of the job? 

My favorite part of the job is being able to help families through one of the most difficult times of their life.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do? [Hobbies, interests, etc.]?

In the spare time that I do have, I enjoy baking and spending time with my dog, Addy. I also have started to travel when I can.

What is the most common reaction you get when you tell people what you do for a living?

I get a lot of surprised reactions. Some people are interested, others are sort of "weirded" out.

What personality traits do you feel are necessary to doing this job well?

You have to be patient, diligent and empathetic.

 Are there any industry trends you’ve noticed emerging recently?

Cremation has been the up and coming trend... typically cremation with some sort of wake service with the urn present.

If you were asked for advice from someone interested in pursuing a funeral industry career, what would you tell them? 

Try to volunteer to shadow someone to talk to others in the industry. Everyone's experience is different and it can be a career choice that some people can't handle. It's important to know that you can handle it before committing yourself to school.

Has working in the mortuary field changed your outlook on life, or how you live your life?

I have definitely learned to not take my loved ones for granted.

What do you do to unwind after a tough day at work?

I usually go home and relax with my dog and watch some Netflix! Getting my mind off of the day helps me to unwind.

If you could change anything about the funeral industry, or how it is viewed by the general public, what would you change?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what funeral directors do ... some people have made the funeral industry look like a "money hungry" one. Most funeral directors aren't money hungry and really are looking for ways to help families. It is easy for people to see the bad and not the good.

Favorite quote?

"Lions don't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep"

How would you describe your experience as a mortuary science student working toward your career at FMC?

It wasn't easy being a student and an apprentice at the same time. I dedicated most of my free time to studying. FMC made it very clear and gave us a lot of preparation and information about passing our National Board Exam. As long as I studied, I understood everything and was successful.