50 Innovators of the Year 2022
What if there were a better way to leverage young people’s energy and abilities to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time?
Do you know any ambitious young people looking to make a huge difference but struggling to get career traction?
Do you know any social impact organizations that need project support but lack the time to find, train, and manage interns?
While internships may seem like the perfect vehicle to address the questions above, the unfortunate reality is too many are ineffective or unfulfilling– for both the interns and their host organizations.
Most young people know they need experience, but can feel overwhelmed and uncertain about where to start and, therefore, put off getting an internship until it is too late (or so they think). For those who do land an internship, many end up feeling bored or forgotten—and ‘stick it out’ for the promised academic credit or stipend.
Organizations know they need to get projects done and build their talent pipelines, but they understandably question the ROI (return on investment) of having interns when they cannot promise to ongoingly find, train, and manage them.
Visions Internships has cracked the code for making modern-day internships work. Since December 2020, this innovative, woman-owned social enterprise has successfully removed the common barriers associated with both doing and managing internships through their unique 12-week program called “VIP” (Visions Internships Program) offered 3x per year.
Not only does Visions Internships find and connect young talent, but they also provide the skills and support for young people to succeed. On the other side of the equation, Visions Internships trains and supervises project consulting interns to deliver valuable customized results with little effort required of their clients.
Visions Internships also serves as a critical bridge between generations in the workplace– virtually and in person. They help young people understand how today’s employers think and what they need. Equally important, Visions Internships helps organizations understand how to attract and retain motivated, work-ready young talent yearning to “Do Well & Do Good.”
You can learn more about how Visions Internships can help build your capacity, efficiency, and impact at visionsinternships.com
In conversation with Amy Mosher Berry, Founder & CEO of Visions Internships
Q. Why did you start the company?
Since I witnessed the Exxon Valdez spill at 10 years old and endured deep personal injustice at the age of 15, I have been called to engage in social impact work—to leave this world a little brighter than I found it.
I didn’t realize until I was in my mid-30s that I could Do Well for myself & Do Good in the world; I thought I had to choose one or the other. When I was teaching college years later, I realized many of my students felt the same way.
After 5 years of teaching college and seeing an unacceptable number of students at a loss as to how to gain meaningful real-world experience, I quit my two jobs to finally develop a new approach to internships.
I went with my gut– knowing young people don’t just need a connection; they need the skills and especially the support to succeed. Likewise, organizations don’t just need warm bodies; they need to get things done with minimal stress on their staff.
When I saw a 2019 study reporting on the “Purpose Gap” (80% of today’s U.S. college graduates are seeking purposeful work and well under 50% achieve this goal), I knew it was the right moment to make a bold move.
Ah Ha! Visions Internships would contract exclusively with social impact organizations that young people would feel naturally compelled to serve while developing their professional skills.
When I reflect now, it appears I created the program I didn’t know I needed when I was in my 20s.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my 5-year-old daughter, AKA the Chief Motivational Officer of Visions Internships, who is certainly my biggest personal inspiration.
Q. What makes your internship services so different?
This is what we like to refer to as, Co-Creating a World that Works.
Q. How would you describe your experience working through the pandemic? How have you innovated during this rough phase?
Not only was I building a business from scratch during the pandemic, but I was also navigating an excruciating divorce and raising a 2-year-old myself.
Between April 2020 and April 2021, to stay (relatively) sane, I completed 55 online programs in personal growth and business development. I joined 3 virtual entrepreneurial communities and built my business between 10 pm and 2 am at least 4 nights per week when my daughter was finally sleeping.
I used a portion of my COVID-induced unemployment funds to hire virtual assistants and invest in technology. I sold my wedding rings and dining room set and ultimately chose my business over our home. Looking back, I am moved by my strength and am confident I can get through just about anything.
When it felt like there was no escape from my horrific reality, I focused on creating a healthy morning routine and forced myself to focus on the life I wanted—not the one I feared.
Q. What can we expect next from Visions Internships?
We are excited to be adding two new service categories in 2023. In addition to VIP, we are rolling out Visions Associates and Visions Consulting & Training to round out our impact.
Q. What insights can you offer other entrepreneurs?
I’ve learned that Innovation is a mindset. It is a way of viewing the world and what is possible. It is the art of building new muscles often in response to old problems.
You are stronger than you realize. You have so much to offer. And, PS: Our world needs you and your leadership. If not YOU, who? If not NOW, when?
Please connect with me to introduce yourself and what you’re up to! Who knows– perhaps we can figure out how to collaborate to leave this world a little brighter than we found it.
Revolutionizing the way young people and organizations approach internships
Amy Mosher Berry is the Founder and CEO of Visions Internships. She is a dynamic social entrepreneur and community development professional with over 20 years of diverse project experience, including 10 years running her consulting firm and 5 years teaching college, who understands firsthand what today’s young professionals and organizations need to succeed.
Amy holds a bold vision for the company, leading programs and business development efforts, and creating valuable content and partnerships. Amy is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)® with a master’s degree in Community Development and a B.A. in Environmental Studies/ Spanish. She lives in Massachusetts and enjoys dancing, traveling, and giving back.