Investing In Internships
Every year, between one and two million people work as interns in the United States. Each firm or organization’s standard of excellence varies, but one thing remains true, being an intern is not merely a title, it is an experience and an important rite of passage. Being an intern at Access Ventures is not an opportunity to take for granted, it is one to take advantage of. The decisions we make can create real-life impact and our work is held to a high standard, as is our character. Below is a Q & A with each of our current interns, varying from each department: Creative, Investment, and Programs.
Hiren Patel – Investment Intern
California is over 2,000 miles away, what brings you to Access Ventures?
I came because I loved the concept of investing for social good. Generally, the idea behind investing is to maximize profits and seek the greatest return possible for your investors, but Access Ventures is altering that perception while changing the lives of people in the local community.
What important skills have you gained while interning at Access Ventures?
The ability to differentiate and be more cognizant of entrepreneur’s needs and aspirations. Also, it has opened my eyes to the true influence of teamwork and the value of having differing ideas.
How has your experience shaped your view of microfinance and mission-aligned investing?
It has shown me that maximizing IRR is not the sole objective of doing business; however, it is the ability to leave a positive impression in the world. With regards to microfinance, it has illustrated the ability small loans can effect the entrepreneur and their small business.
Sam Jagoda – Creative Intern
What were your expectations of the firm?
At first, I assumed that Access Ventures was a typical venture capital firm. However, meeting some of the leaders in the firm immediately changed my perspective, and I began to see the “impact” side of Access Ventures. They care so much for the people they invest in and take the time to ensure success for each one of them.
What does the day-to-day of a Creative Team intern look like?
We have meetings daily as a creative team to collaborate and discuss current and future projects. Often we will go on photo walks, either around Shelby Park or to portfolio companies to prepare for social media and journal posts. We also have writing workshops where we write ideas down on sticky notes and use them to create content.
Describe the team environment at Access Ventures, how important is that to you?
The team environment is great and makes showing up to work fun and exciting. It is built upon on working hard together to create content to both build Access Ventures as a brand and promote the portfolio companies. The team also builds camaraderie through bowling tournaments and daily Foosball matches.
Jackson Ventrella – Investment Intern
What does the day-to-day of an Investment Intern look like?
As an investment intern my tasks and jobs are focused yet they enable me to do a number of different things. There are long term projects and short-term projects, meaning I’m able to attack jobs regularly on my own without managing. TJ has given us opportunities to push ourselves and succeed; it’s all about seizing them as they present themselves each day.
What valuable skills have you learned while being at Access Ventures?
Working at Access Ventures has provided me with ample learning opportunities in part because my educational focus is outside of business. Whether it’s learning how to craft a proforma, or seeing how different people in the office interact and seize the opportunities around them, Access Ventures has taught me a great deal about my own personal interests and it has given me the opportunity to work in a new environment and develop great relationships. Each day affords a new idea or term which I can apply to my work.
What would you say to someone who is interested in interning at Access Ventures in the fall?
Access Ventures is a wonderful place to work which has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. So yes, it is a great internship–the people are genuine and Louisville is also a blast.
Gavin Gleeson – Program Intern in Microfinance
What brought you to Access Ventures?
I came across Access Ventures when I started to become interested in the idea of impact investing. I was looking into organizations in the area that are involved in the impact investing scene and came across the Access Ventures website and ended up applying for the internship. Shout out to Google search.
Being a Louisville native, do you see the value that Access Ventures’ work has had in the city?
Without a doubt. Whether you look at what Access Ventures has done with helping to improve Shelby Park, consistently selling out CreativeMornings events (in a matter of minutes), or establishing Louisville as a Kiva city you start to see the momentum and excitement being brought to Louisville.
What skills have you learned while being at Access Ventures?
I have learned to not be afraid to exercise my creativity. I have had the chance to create a website for the Growth Loan and also learn how to integrate productivity tools to be more effective in my work. I’m picking up on how David, Access Venture’s Director of Microfinance, listens to the struggles of small business owners seeking working capital and creates positive action items for their business.
Nicholas Kampouris – Creative Intern
When you first learned of Access Ventures, what interested you the most?
I was attracted to the idea of using digital strategy in order to express and share the relationship between impact-minded firms, and the entrepreneurs they invested in. I was also excited about the prospect of interning with a company that believes in the power of storytelling.
What is your favorite part of being a creative intern?
Personally, my favorite part about being a creative intern is going on photo-walks with the rest of the team. It is such a great opportunity to go out, capture, and feel inspired. Photo-walks allow and encourage me to experiment and take risks with my art.
How has your internship affected your daily life and professional career?
I have grown more in the last six months that I have been with Access Ventures than any other time in my life. I have been given opportunities to lead, to learn, and to network with other people that I have never had before. I am not only extremely grateful for my role as a digital strategist, but also I am honored to be called a “member of the team.”
Access Ventures value creative, self-driven individuals who care about the work they produce and the people they work with. If you’re interested in exploring the opportunity to intern at Access Ventures then please consider learning more about our internship program!
Written by Nicholas Kampouris @NikoKampouris