Three times a year, the RedPeg crew goes on a mission to identify and attract proactive, diverse and curious interns, part-time contractors and seasoned associates. We look for folks to join our team who will happily bring their experience and fresh ideas to every facet of our business, in turn, making us better and more well-rounded marketers.

We were particularly proud this past summer as we had the pleasure of welcoming Zak Vono, a VCU Brandcenter alum and the only student from his class chosen to represent his school at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. We caught up with Zak just as he was about to return to VCU for the final year of his masters.

So…why RedPeg?

I chose RedPeg because I wanted to be treated like a full-time employee – to collaborate on real client work and to conquer as many different challenges as possible.

I’m excited (and a little impressed) to say, my wish was met. Within my short time as RedPeg’s Associate Experience Designer, I wore many hats. I could be painting props on Monday, proofreading copy on Tuesday, concepting and sketching on Wednesday, then photoshopping or editing footage the end of the week. If I was willing to give it a shot, I was given the rope. It was awesome!

How do you feel your education at VCU Brandcenter prepared you for this opportunity?

Pursuing a Master of Science for Experience Design gave me the confidence to hit the ground running. Brandcenter prepared me to collaborate and to be unafraid to share my ideas among my peers and even among C-suite executives. Because of my education, I understood the differences between strategy, concept and execution, and I was able to articulate my ideas coherently.

What was the coolest thing you worked on while at RedPeg?

It’s really hard to choose just one! A few of my favorite memories included seeing my ideas in a new business pitch deck that eventually won over a major client, briefing the entire agency on my trip to the Cannes Festival of Creativity, joining the RedPeg crew at a Habitat for Humanity build and seeing my rough sketches become high-fidelity renders.

How would you describe the company culture at RedPeg?

The company culture is fun, caring, and extremely welcoming. Being the new kid on the block can be rough in professional settings, but in my first week, I was treated like I had always been there. I felt totally comfortable asking anyone for advice . Not once was I ever made to feel foolish or inadequate for not knowing how to perform a particular task. It was a satisfying relief.

In light of RedPeg’s recent company culture rebrand, what would your uber title be, and why?

If I had to choose anything, I’d definitely be the “QUESTION ASKER.”

I’ve always been relentlessly curious. When somebody asks, “any questions?” and the audience in the room just wants to leave, I’m usually the jerk to raise his hand. I can’t help it. I wish I could build a career learning nonsense, but only Jeopardy whiz, Ken Jennings, gets to do that.

Similarly, what would your memento be, and why?

I would want to highlight something personal that also shows I’m a 3D-thinker. Therefore, the memento I would want to feature on my business card would be one of the magnets I’ve sculpted.

What’s your interpretation of our tagline, “let’s make it mean more”?

Give people feelings, not prize wheels. It makes a difference.

Any final thoughts for prospective RedPeg interns?

Always offer to help, but understand that it often takes more work to involve someone in the process who isn’t full time. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your team is to grab a coffee or tell a joke. Little tasks and smaller responsibilities are not fatal to your career. If you prove yourself with the small stuff, you’ll get trusted with the big stuff before you know it.