Link To Guest Website: Visions Internships

Title: “Internships That Give Value To Both Employer & Intern”
Guest: Amy Mosher Berry – Visions Internships
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (0s):
Welcome back to radio entrepreneurs. My name again is Jeffrey Davis, and we continue to talk to entrepreneurs about how they’re dealing with the chaos of this economy and adapting, and my next guest, returning guests previously on pre COVID. So a totally different world, a totally different perspective as Amy Mosher Barry founder and CEO of Visions Internships. Welcome back.

Amy (22s):
Thank you so much for having me.

Jeffrey (24s):
You look exactly the same, except were not in the studio.

Amy (28s):
Yeah. I’ll pay you later for that. I feel like I’ve aged tremendously, but thank you very much. It’s you know, I guess the, the light set up or something

Jeffrey (35s):
It’s oh, you’re the woman of the universe.

Amy (37s):
Ah, ha that’s right. I think big, hence the background and my tamper Sant I’ll explain.

Jeffrey (43s):
Well, why don’t you explain, tell us about vision chips.

Amy (47s):
Yeah. So in case anybody is, you know, I’m sure they’re just left hanging on the edge of their seat, Jeff, right. But anyways, the anti-science science so that people don’t get distracted. So visions internships is, is a social enterprise women owned. And we basically are really out to help purpose-driven young professionals that are in there seeking meaningful real-world experience and we’re connecting them with do good organizations that need project support. So the AAN sign refers to really showing the world how we can both do well for ourselves financially, professionally, and do good work in the world. The two are not mutually exclusive

Jeffrey (1m 24s):
And we hope not. So what drove you to do this? What’s your background?

Amy (1m 32s):
Great question. So my background is a little sorted. I’ve got over 20 years of combined community and workforce development experience, business development. I’ve also worked in for-profit nonprofit and government. And the last I’d say between 2014 and 2019, I had five years as a professor. I’m working at two different schools in Wister. So one larger public institution for five years, and then a smaller private college for two years and all pre COVID, as you mentioned. And I just kept hearing all of my students a vast majority, especially those that would come and chat with me after class or before class. And they would just say like, we have no idea what we’re doing with our life. Like we’ve never actually gotten that real-world experience and we’re just gonna, you know, try to power through, keep the GPA up, pass the exams and we’ll figure out the experience later.

Amy (2m 16s):
And I was like, oh my God, that’s the only reason I really got into academia. Cause I’m much more of a practitioner is to connect my young people with actual real world experience so that they had a clue before they graduated, what they might want to do with a very expensive investment. And what’s, I guess shocked me, Jeff, is that, you know, having launched this so where, you know, visions internships is, is a product of COVID. So we are, you know, still primarily a virtual project based model and it appears that we’re staying that way, but the young people, you know, that I’m seeing come through the program over the last 18 months have actually been more so between the ages of 24 and 27.

Amy (2m 59s):
So I had therefore my, my target reach for the young professionals to be between 19 and 29 years old, because I don’t know if you know, any young people that graduated college, whether it was 20, 19, 20, 20, even 2021, where they never actually had that opportunity with COVID to get that professional foot in the door. So there’s like this whole batch of young people with all due respect that are like sort of flailing. Like they never really got that experience or the guidance. And now that they’re out of college and they don’t have that added support through their career centers or their advisors or other members to help them, they’re kind of, you know, flailing a little bit. So I feel like I can really make a difference with them. And it was a little bit surprising because when I started my business, which, you know, in 2019, I left my teaching to start my company.

Amy (3m 45s):
And I was really at that point only focusing on the juniors and seniors that were seeing graduation on the horizon, looking to help them get that experience before they graduated. But you know, life taught me as well. What, where the market was. So here we are.

Jeffrey (3m 58s):
Well, you know, I can speak both personally, but also in terms of my clients over the last 35 years, that the majority of them who I talked to made choices at the ages that you’re coaching people that were the wrong choices and they didn’t have perspective. And so they spent their careers not being fulfilled and not doing the kind of job they wanted to do, not knowing how to change fields. So I think having someone like you at this particular point of their career is really quite critical and essential that learning how to reach out to people like you and getting help to think things through and not necessarily put yourself on a path that could be 10, 20, 30, 40 years, can’t be changed is very important to do upfront and not done enough.

Jeffrey (4m 45s):
You’re right. There’s a gap after college of these people sort of floundering. I know with my father and my parents, the attitude was anybody who wants to pay you is a good job. That was a depression era kind of concept. So I took any job that offered me a paycheck. I never thought about culture or fit.

Amy (5m 5s):
Yeah. Well, that’s huge because, you know, as you well know, a lot of organizations are struggling to find the right people and young people are like, oh my gosh, like they actually they’re. They are really wanting to hire me. It’s like, yeah, but we need to help them see that what they bring does have value. They, you know, their skills need to continue to be built up, right? Because there are so many things that organizations need that they just, they don’t have time often. And really the reason we’re in business on the, on the organization side, because that’s really our main client is the organization that needs that project support. So their options right now would be potentially to, you know, connect with somebody kind of haphazardly. Maybe they know somebody, you know, in that general age bracket, that’s looking for experience. Maybe they know somebody who works at a college, so that can be helpful.

Amy (5m 48s):
But what’s really unique about us is it’s almost like organizations are in place of hiring, you know, inexpensive say consulting outfit that might charge them $50,000 to get XYZ projects done. You know, we’re kind of in between that where, you know, I’m not just connecting organizations to young people and saying, you know, good luck, God bless. I am actually providing a pre-internship training of two intense sort of bootcamp style weeks of work and life readiness. A lot of those interpersonal soft skills that the, you know, employers might expect that they come with already, but then they may get frustrated in the early stages of whether they’re bringing on an intern or a new hire. So I help them really prepare for working and engaging effectively with the client organization.

Amy (6m 33s):
And then I actually support the young people for an additional 10 week project period to get two specific projects done for the client. And the client is literally just saying yes to between one and three hours equivalent of their staff time. And they’re getting between 15 and 18 hours per week of project support done because I am the ones who I’m finding training and managing the interns for the organization. And the client really just shows up to our weekly status update meeting. And they’re like, what’s going on? What do you need from me? Let me give you some feedback, see you next week. So that’s really how we roll. It’s really soup to nuts for the client organization.

Amy (7m 13s):
Who’s getting a pretty good deal. So I have no lacking of organizations that are pretty psyched to get affordable and reliable project support right now we’re really working on building up that talent pipeline for messaging and making those great connections.

Jeffrey (7m 28s):
No, again, you know, I, excuse me, if I’m not smart enough to follow everything. So let me, let me just identify two gaps potentially and see how you would do it. One gap would be understanding my own strengths versus the strengths or the recruiting needs of the organization. Yeah. And, you know, culture and how I like to be worked with how I like to be managed because that’s always been a particular thing with me, how I’m managed. And then the other side is my skillset where I entered business with definite skills, but definite holes, hardcore, we’ll call it, say the hard business skills versus the soft.

Jeffrey (8m 11s):
So you help in both. And how do you get them to help or do you help only on one side versus the other, the soft versus the hard let’s call it?

Amy (8m 19s):
We do both. And we do have like three main buckets that we focus on, right? So, you know, I know business operations is very large, but you know, if there are, you know, certain strategic goals they’re looking to accomplish, you know, if it’s outreach to key stakeholders, we might be designing and administering surveys, interviews, focus groups, really all virtual is really how we roll these days. As people know, you know, we might be helping with like an operational manual, you know, we might be helping to connect and get a promo video done or a social media content out. So it’s sort of a wide variety, but it kind of falls under business operations, communications and marketing, and also planning and event support.

Amy (8m 60s):
And for some of our nonprofit clients who may help with some of the grant writing process and the fundraising of really for for-profits or non-profits. So we can provide a lot of that backend support with, you know, my coaching and also connecting the young people to keep people in my network that are helping train them. We do have some video modules and again, I’m supporting them, you know, every week consistently, actually multiple times a week that the client organization doesn’t see, but they know that their young people are coming prepared. You know, they’re preparing and actually running the they’re facilitating client meetings, which is kind of a big deal for somebody in their twenties to be running client meetings relatively effectively. And I’m in the background, you know, if they’re really out in left field, I may pull them back in.

Amy (9m 45s):
But you know, we, we provide a lot of the technical training. I mean, we use a lot of tech tools that I’m sure people are familiar with to run projects. So we’re basically training these young people to be project consulting interns. So they’re learning key project management, time and task and moving projects over the line for the client. And then the client gets to see them in action. And I don’t promise that they’re going to be, you know, hired at the end of this experience, but I’ve had, we’ve had 20 young people come through the program so far. We’ve had 10 happy clients from what I can hear from everybody. And you know, what’s nice is that we’ve had two actual like full-time job offers and an additional consulting offer just because nobody felt pressured.

Amy (10m 27s):
And the client got to see the young person in action. And we all know Jeff, right? We live in a triad before you buy it world. Especially in Massachusetts, it’s a super employee friendly state, which is, which is great for most people, but it can be tricky for employers if they hire the wrong person and they don’t get to see them first. So we provide that sort of try it before you buy it. That like runway where the young people are learning and messing up and they’ve got my back, you know, and they don’t mess up too bad because end of the day, we’ve got to deliver that client. That’s been scoped. You know, the, the value needs to be clear and the projects need to be to fulfill on what we’ve scoped out. So I feel like I’m going off on a little bit of a tangent, but I’ve got a lot to say about my company. Let me zip it and let you have the, have the word. So back to you,

Jeffrey (11m 8s):
I thought you made it real easy for me. I actually took a nap, came back. No, just fooling. I’ve listened to every word you said, there’s a lot going on in

Amy (11m 20s):

Jeffrey (11m 21s):
World. And we’ve been speaking with Amy Mosher, Barry founder, and CEO of visions, internships clearly very involved and motivated about what she does. And Amy, if someone’s looking for you and your assistance, which I’ve already established, I think is very important in hindsight. People think about that. They should have done these things. I’ve had so many people say to me in my career, how come I didn’t meet you 30 years ago? You know? And this would have helped me and I wouldn’t have done what I did. So,

Amy (11m 51s):
But look where you ended up Jeff. I mean, you’re in the spotlight, the limelight, you’re doing big things. We have, I appreciate you having the conversation,

Jeffrey (11m 58s):
That character on Sesame street that comes out of the garbage cans. So don’t compliment them.

Amy (12m 2s):
Oh my gosh. We just went to the Elmo. Sean,

Jeffrey (12m 18s):
Can we connect with you?

Amy (12m 20s):
Yes, absolutely. So, so visions with an S so visions, is the best place to find more information about our organization. We are a for-profit social enterprise women owned. So you can learn more about our company there. And you can learn specifically about our core offering that we run three times a year. It’s called VIP where everybody feels like a very important person, but it stands for visions internships program. We run that program spring, summer, fall, and they can learn whether you’re a young professional looking for experience. You can, you can check us out there and also organizations that may need some project support or other information.

Amy (12m 60s):
Even if you don’t contract with us, I’m always happy to have a conversation, especially if you’re an organization looking to position yourself and start or grow an internship program in today’s.

Jeffrey (13m 10s):
Thank you very much for that glimpse sign off. And What a pleasure Amy having you back again. We’re not going to wait another three years in another pandemic. We’re going to have you before then.

Amy (13m 23s):
Thank you. Thank you so much. I’ll

Jeffrey (13m 26s):
Remind everybody. This is radio entrepren.

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