Trades Win: How it works

Woman with short blond hair sitting at a computer, looking at enlarged text.


Typically participants are referred by a VR Counselor who thinks this might be a good opportunity for the candidate, or participants can contact us directly and we’ll make the connection with the VR agency.

Intern interview and selection

Potential participants interview with staff members to determine their current vocational interests, their commitment to completing the project, and to get a sense of their own story and aspirations.

Core training

Students begin the process by attending a series of six workshops that focus on how to properly conduct interviews. Together they learn how to ask meaningful questions and make interpersonal connections. They identify from the growing list of possible interviewees who will be interviewed during this session, based on the vocational interests of participants.

“Technical” Training

The group then breaks off into work teams including: those who will document their interviews through podcasts; those who will work with a professional videographer to create videos; and those who will work with a published author to learn how to contribute to a published book of written profiles and create the profiles listed on the website. Some interns may also join the administrative team to coordinate interviews and market the project. All receive training to help them complete their tasks.

While each team member has their own role in the process, their combined efforts form the simulation of a functioning workplace setting – there is a job to do with relatively little time to complete it! Students learn to support one another and harness their skills to move the project forward. Working in a group setting, students expand their core communication skills and develop a network among themselves. By working as a team to create a final product, they hone the soft skills needed to work on any professional work team.

Interviews and Documentation

They then get to work! They outreach to potential storytellers, schedule the interview (all done remotely except for video-based interviews), conduct the interview, and then work with their team to edit the written profiles, podcasts, and videos.

Interested in becoming a Trades Win intern or telling your story? Contact your VR Counselor or Josh Pearson, jpearson [at]