VSA on internships: It all begins with mentorship

Internship season is upon us—an important and exciting (albeit stressful) time for college students and graduates alike. At VSA, we know this experience can shape career paths, which is why we have developed an enriching program that builds professional credentials, while emphasizing mentorship. Started in 2011, our internship program is divided into four areas of expertise that reflect VSA’s core capabilities: branding, design, marketing and technology.

These days, mentorship is a bit of a lost art. New recruits are typically left to their own resourcefulness, learning through observation, “winging it” or trial and error. There are certainly benefits to this approach, but at VSA, we believe having a dedicated mentor to provide guidance offers a better path for young talent to build their career. At the same time, the mentors gain the opportunity to give back and develop themselves as leaders and experts in their fields. It’s a win-win, and the reason why mentorship is such a key tenet of VSA’s internship program.

Interns are each appointed a mentor within their discipline—and in some cases that mentor is a different person than the intern’s direct manager. We try to split up these two roles because there is a difference between training and counsel. An intern’s manager is trained to teach a skillset; a mentor is there to help with navigating the ropes at VSA, setting personal career goals and offering valuable insights about our industry.

To ensure that the VSA staff is ready to provide the best possible experience for our recruits, both mentors and managers receive extensive training each spring before the interns arrive. “They learn interviewing tips and strategies for choosing the best candidate, how to shape the intern’s first day and welcome them to the team, as well as best practices and time management,” says Cheri Demong Hubbard, Chief Operating Officer at VSA Partners. “We put significant efforts toward training our people because they are the ones who make the internship program what it is.”

As we welcome a new cohort of talent into our VSA family, we remain committed to our mentorship philosophy. We look forward to celebrating our Summer 2016 interns’ contributions to VSA and the creative community at large. Happy internship hunting!

To view a full list of internship opportunities at VSA Partners, please visit our Careers page