VCCP is an award-wining ad agency with offices in London and six other international cities, whose clients include major brands such as O2, Walkers, Cadbury and Canon. The business recently set up the VCCP Stoke Academy to create opportunities in the advertising industry outside of London.
Over the past year, VCCP has been working closely with lecturers Sam Owen and John Hudson to provide opportunities for Staffordshire University students, including visits to their studios, mentoring support, and feedback on student portfolios.
'Best Summer Job' is the pilot internship scheme from VCCP Stoke Academy and students from across Staffordshire University were invited to apply. Shortlisted applicants took part in a competitive recruitment process including workshops and interviews.
Eight students from a range of creative courses including CGI and Visual Effects, English Literature, Film Production and Graphic Design were successful and have been offered a month-long placement with VCCP this July.
Final year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Tom Hancock is one of the chosen interns. The 21-year-old from Crewe said: “It feels great to have secured a place on the VCCP internship. I've worked really hard this year and think this highlights that it always pays off in the end!
“The internship gives me the chance to dip my toes into several aspects of the industry and I will be able to explore my interests in a multitude of ways.”
Successful course mate Kate Dodds, 21 from Chester, said: “It is honestly the most exciting thing! I can't wait for it! This will allow me to gain understanding of all the things that go into making a studio successful. I believe it will give me a great platform to go into the industry with.”
The Best Summer Job program has been designed to give the students, from various courses and academic years, a core understanding of the industry. Interns will get an introduction to, and experience in, multiple advertising and creative disciplines, work on live projects with flagship clients, receive mentorship from experienced industry figures and take part in a team-based pitch challenge.
The paid internship will be based at VCCP’s Stoke office, with a fully expensed trip to the London agency one day a week. The VCCP Academy is housed within a refurbished bank a few yards from the Spode pottery works in a shared office space with Carse and Waterman, a local digital VFX and animation studio founded by Staffordshire University graduates.
Lynsey Monroe, Head of Learning & Development at VCCP, said: “We feel very fortunate to have partnered with Staffordshire University for our ‘Best Summer Job’ Internship as the calibre of talent within the University has been incredible. Our hope is that the internship will give the students a real insight into the world of advertising and the myriad of career opportunities that are available within it, as well as allowing them to develop core employability skills along the way. We can’t wait to get started!”
Staffordshire University graduate Elisabeth Salazar Morales now works as an Account Manager at VCCP and is also involved in the internship project. She said: "I was especially excited to be a part of this initiative as an alumna of staffs, and it made me so proud to see the agency I work for supporting the students of my former university. During the application phase, we were hugely impressed with the talent of the applicants and their eagerness to get into the industry.
“Staffs has done an amazing job in building their confidence in their work and approaching their projects with a critical view. Selecting our eight candidates has been a tough decision, but we're now really looking forward to welcoming them to be part of our agency, to take root and grow in their abilities."
John Hudson, Visual Communication Course Director at Staffordshire University, added: “VCCP did a really thorough job of working with the students, assessing them and seeing who would fit into their organisation best. Even the students who weren’t successful still had the experience of working with VCCP and building up skills to prepare them for going into the industry and applying for jobs.
“We really value VCCP’s support, and it is a great partnership that we can’t wait to build on in the future. It is mutually beneficial for both VCCP and our students and it is a fantastic opportunity for them to get a deeper insight into industry and enhance their employability skills.”
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