VO has proven to be a goldmine for youngsters looking to build their experience: this spring, we have beaten our own record for the number of interns, with 14 youngsters working across all of the VO agencies (VO Group, VO Event, Voice, VO Citizen and VO Europe). Some of them will be staying on with us for longer, while others will be moving on to the next step of their careers.
VO has always offered numerous intern opportunities and promoted the mutually beneficial relationship between an intern and their mentor. As Xavier Vincent, VO Europe General Manager explains, “taking on interns gives the mentor a more youthful point of view and a different approach to the world of communications. Their way of communicating with others can be a real inspiration. Interns get the chance to throw themselves into real projects, deal with real clients, and produce work that’s about far more than just research - and certainly doesn’t involve any photocopying!”
Alexandre Velleuer, a former VO intern who is the current director of VO Com (comprising VO Event and VO Citizen), is an advocate of this win-win relationship because, “the mentor has to make themselves available for their intern and advise them on their day-to-day work. Thanks to this, the intern's work becomes more and more productive and effective, which is a big motivator for everyone.” One of the challenges he was set by his own mentor was to create a communications plan to find sponsors to restore an old yacht. It was no mean feat for an intern, but with his mentor’s support he rose to the occasion.
For Raphaëlle Servais, Project Developer at VO Citizen, a three-month internship with VO Citizen turned into a fully-fledged career. She immediately felt at home as part of the team and very quickly found herself taking on real responsibility. “Initially I just knew that I wanted to work in events, but because you’ve got all these different agencies here, with their different specialisms, I was able to find myself a great mix between communications and events at VO Citizen.”
Charles de Lalaing, on the other hand, used his three-month internship at VO Group to get a foot on the career ladder. His mission was to run an in-house seminar with his mentor Véra Larock. Not only did he learn about organising events, but he also gained valuable insights into the relationship between mentor and intern. “Learning from a mentor means building a friendly relationship with them that goes beyond a mere professional relationship. It’s about finding a happy medium.”
As you have seen, we have had plenty of interns over the years, and there will be plenty more in future. These young people are a real asset for VO, opening their mentors’ eyes to new ideas and craving real experience on the ground.
It’s a winning combo all round!