Success Stories

Success Stories

Returner Profile – Brian Vass

At AAI, we recently reached out to our intern alumni to find anyone who had used one of our placements to get back to work or start a new professional journey, after a career break, and who could be considered a ‘Returner’.

Here’s Brian’s story.

Background – I graduated from Strathclyde University in 2007 with a Honours degree in Business Law and quickly realised I had no interest in pursuing this as a career.

Job Hunting Experience – On finishing university, I went travelling around Canada on a gap year and went into working with the NHS for a couple of years after I returned home. This was an administration type job and wasn’t really of interest to me and I started to pursue photography on the side and became interested in social media and creating visual content.


Your Returnship – After a couple of years with the NHS, I became incredibly bored with the job. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, but I decided to quit and dedicate some time to figuring it out. I was keen on photography or doing something creative, but my only goal for making money was that the job would be interesting.

I knew I didn’t want to work a 9-5 office job doing admin work, but I found it very difficult to come across any vacancies online that looked like a good fit. 

I’m not sure how I ended up on the Adopt an Intern website as it was just getting started, but there were several positions on there that caught my eye as potentially great opportunities to gain experience in areas that would be very difficult to get into otherwise. I applied for a few and ended up with a social media and fundraising position with a mental health charity called Birchwood Highland based in Inverness.

This led to an ongoing Digital Communications role with them which involves social media, photography, and video work. I also found a similar role with Falkirk Delivers as a Social Media Intern. They have now become an ongoing client of mine and my work has gained a lot of visibility through this position that has led on to many other opportunities.

I now operate my own company, Vass Media, which provides photography, video and social media services.

How did Adopt an Intern help you? – Adopt an Intern provided me with two internships that really shaped my career and provided me with amazing opportunities. It can be difficult to get started in a new career when you don’t already have a lot of experience in previous roles, and I found Adopt an Intern to be a perfect way to gain experience and make new connections.

I still look at the AAI website internships from time to time because they have so many interesting positions. I don’t really have the time now to take on another internship, but I would highly recommend AAI to anyone looking to return to work or get started in a new career.

You can check out Brian’s website and follow him on Twitter @vass_media

The term ‘Returnship’ is trademarked by Goldman Sachs


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