Return of internship scheme offers students the chance to kickstart an advertising career

February 2, 2024

(Left to right) Mark Lesniak, Creative Director and Alex Swann, Managing Director

(Left to right) Mark Lesniak, Creative Director and Alex Swann, Managing Director

The ‘Best Summer Job Ever’ internship scheme has returned for 2024 – offering students across Staffordshire the chance to win a paid placement working with some of the area’s foremost creative agencies.

Open to anyone over the age of 18 who is from or living in Staffordshire, the scheme is run by VCCP’s Stoke Academy, B2B marketing agency Lesniak Swann and creative agency i.creation. No work experience or degree qualification is required to apply.

It has been developed to help widen participation and diversity in the advertising industry, at a time when many young people – in particular those from working class backgrounds – don’t view the sector as a viable career choice. This is despite areas like Staffordshire being home to leading agencies that work with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Now in its third year, the scheme has led to a number of interns securing jobs in a range of creative roles at both VCCP and Lesniak Swann. For 2024 all three agencies will offer a paid four-week placement to a total of fourteen successful applicants.

This will include the opportunity to work alongside industry experts and experience first-hand how projects are delivered for big-name clients such as Cadbury, Virgin Media O2, Michelin and the NHS. The scheme will also cover employability skills such as CV writing and interview techniques.

Michael Lee, Partnership Chief Strategy Officer at VCCP London, explains:

“Our industry is faced with an increasingly narrow talent pool, despite great creativity relying on having a diverse group of people all contributing their thoughts and ideas. We feel we’re in danger of becoming quite a monocultural profession if we don’t overcome the socio-economic barriers many feel prevent them from joining the industry.
“So initiatives like this summer internship are hugely important in broadening industry participation and demonstrating the career potential on offer. Stoke is one of the birthplaces of the modern creative industries, so there’s no better place to kickstart the scheme.”

Alex Swann, Managing Director of Lesniak Swann added:

“The internship scheme has been a great success for us, with the quality of applicants highlighting the wealth of talent we have locally. We were also delighted to be able to offer a permanent job as a junior designer to Chloe, one of our interns.
“It’s a shame how many talented people from Stoke and Staffordshire hold the perception that a career in advertising, or even marketing in general, just isn’t for them. This is despite Stoke being an area where in the past creative talents were hugely important to the success of businesses, not least the big ceramic brands like Wedgwood, Doulton and Spode. We’re excited that the summer internship can help the area to rediscover how rewarding a career in the sector can be.”

Applications are open from 1st February and close on 1st April, with the internships running from Monday 17th June – Friday 12th July. Applicants are able to choose whether they wish to apply for a placement with VCCP, Lesniak Swann, i.creation or all three agencies, by following these links:
Lesniak Swann

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