At its core, Vivisum Partners is a company focused on encouragement. The company continues to look for better ways to progress and expand capabilities, not only with clients in mind, but also employees.
Working at Vivisum made me realize that too many companies view employees as numbers, as expendable. Vivisum is a smaller company with relatively few employees, so it allows for an intimacy between coworkers that encourages better results. That intimacy lowers the job stress, empowers employees, and allows for more productive conversations and actions to occur in the workplace. I was blown away by how cohesively everyone works together and plans out each week to cater to the best of everyone’s abilities. There isn’t that toxic culture of not wanting to say you need help with a project. For example, every Monday begins with the “Kickass Kickoff” meeting, where we all gather to share our goals for the week and what is on everyone’s calendar. This allows for each employee to see who can lend a hand to a coworker or if they themselves might need help that week. This open communication and realistic look at each week really help level expectations and create a safe space to ask for help.
As a college student intern, my experience at Vivisum provided me with an insight into the working world that I would not have received at a large, impersonal company. Each time I proved I was capable of doing the work assigned to me, I was given the opportunity to grow and to take on new projects. In turn, this just made me strive to do better because I knew it would unlock new opportunities for me. I wasn’t just expected to do basic “intern-y” tasks that wouldn’t have pushed me out of my comfort zone and not added any real worth to my metaphorical toolbox.
Yes, there were times that I was intimidated by what was expected of me. When I would look at the project in front of me and just see a looming mountain, I didn’t fear asking for help because I knew the team would provide the insights I needed to reach the top of that mountain. I believe that being an intern anywhere comes with a level of fear and intimidation – being worried that if you mess up, people will think less of you. We have all seen the television trope of the haggard intern who is running to get coffee and copy papers for higher level employees, and all the rest of the office making jokes at the young intern’s expense. I think despite knowing that that is an improper representation of what being an intern is (I mean I was only asked to get coffee once), everyone who becomes an intern has a fear of being in that sort of work environment. An environment that doesn’t encourage growth or freedom of thought, where you’re doing the same thing each day and not learning anything! In that sort of position, there is no mountain to climb, so there is no progress to be had.
So, while I was worried about expectations and my own capabilities, I am so glad that I was pushed to climb that mountain because I learnt things that will help me throughout my entire life, both in the working sense and personally.
Vivisum is a company that will give back what it is given. If you put effort into your work, you will be able to reap the rewards. That being said, I don’t want to give the impression that Vivisum is an easy company to work for. There were definitely long days (and the occasional night) I spent working away at a project that seemed to have no end, which can be disheartening. But the encouragement comes in the form of knowing that everyone else at Vivisum has done the same. Everyone else loves Vivisum so much that they are willing to put in the work it takes to run a smaller company on a global scale, and if that doesn’t show how unique and special Vivisum is, I don’t know what will.
To wrap up, I loved working at Vivisum. I learnt things about both myself and my potential as a person that I wouldn’t have if not given this opportunity. With my internship coming to a close at Vivisum, I am sad to not get to work with this wonderful group of people on the daily, but happy and excited to see what I can do with all the new “tools” I have for the workplace and the college classroom.