Supporting Potential: How a Summer Internship Helped the Ventures Marketplace

When you walk into the Ventures Marketplace in the heart of the historic Pike Place Market, not only will you be struck by the unique and beautiful handmade artisan products on the shelves, but you will also see that by every product stands a 4” x 6” vendor profile that shares the uniqueness and humanity behind each entrepreneur. These profiles wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the work of our amazing Access to Markets Intern, Zara Anderson, who spent eight full weeks with the Ventures incubation team this summer.  

I had the chance to sit down with Zara on the last day of her internship while she was busily wrapping up a few last minute pieces of her projects. I wanted to hear about what she learned, how her internship changed her, and what she got from working with a nonprofit for eight weeks.  

Zara and Jen at the Ventures MarketplaceWhat were your favorite things in your internship experience?

I really loved the opportunity to communicate and work with Ventures entrepreneurs. Since a lot of my projects involved gathering information about vendors and their businesses, I had a chance to have some great conversations with businesses owners to get to know their stories. It has also given me a chance to see how a nonprofit creates legitimacy with its work – every position at Ventures is fulfilling the mission.  

Where did you feel like you made the most difference?

I was really proud of leaving the store on my last day because I had accomplished what I had set out to do – complete the update of the store signage with the client profiles and the updated Ventures Marketplace brand. To see it all come to fruition was really fulfilling.  

What skills did you develop this summer while working for Ventures?

Embracing multifaceted communication – I had the opportunity to communicate with so many stakeholders at Ventures; retail vendors, customers at the retail store, and the staff. It really helped me gain confidence in communicating professionally. I also had the opportunity to work at the retail store in a customer service role and that was a really great experience to see all that goes into the retail staff training.

How do you think this internship will support you in the future?

Since I split my time between working on projects at the Ventures main office and at the retail store, I had the chance to work in an office which was a great experience for me. I also got to work with people who are very passionate about what they do and seeing that passion come through was great. I also gained valuable skills in creating effective visuals and allowing me to see how my passion for being creative can have a channel in the workplace.  

Why should other students consider an internship with Ventures?

At a staff meeting that I attended, the Executive Director, Beto Yarce, said something that really stuck with me. He said that our work matters because it affects people positively and it affects yourself positively as well.  

And of course, my last question for you is why should people shop at the Ventures Marketplace?

Because when you shop at the Marketplace, you are helping real people make their goals and dreams happen. The products are made by passionate individuals and you get to support someone in making a living in what they are passionate about. So, stop by and support local entrepreneurs by shopping at the Ventures Marketplace.