Alumni Spotlight: Internship at Not Your Mother’s Haircare Pays Off for Victoria Celis
By Bianca Valverde, intern
TAMPA (April 14, 2022) – In 2021, Victoria Celis got her dream job during her last semester at the University of South Florida. After a few months into her third — and final — internship as a social media marketing intern at Tampa-based Not Your Mother's Haircare, the company offered her the chance to manage its social media presence on a full-time basis.
Celis credits the experience she received in USF’s Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP) for helping her land a job she loves with a company she believes in. Celis graduated in 2021.
As an international student, Celis moved from Venezuela to Tampa to pursue higher education. She was part of the ZAP program, where students earn a bachelor’s degree in business advertising and a master’s degree in mass communications. The program also requires students complete two to three internships before graduating.
"This program made me excited to come to USF because it was a perfect balance between creative and business," she said. Celis was able to get early job experience thanks to the program’s focus on interships. During her first year, she lived on campus in a living-learning community surrounded by her peers from the program. One of her most impactful experiences during college was studying abroad, another ZAP program requirement.
"Studying abroad was something I don't regret doing at all," she said. "I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to do so." She studied abroad for four weeks in London and took two courses while there. She also had the opportunity to visit some of the most prestigious advertising agencies.
All these experiences inspired her to keep reaching for her goals. “My first two years of college were very shaped by the Zimmerman Advertising Program," she said.
Her first internship was at Checkers & Rally’s, a fast-food chain headquartered in Tampa. She was a marketing intern for six months. It was an impressive achievement for an international student in her sophomore year.
For her second internship, Celis took on a role that challenged her creative side. It was a project management internship on the advertising agency 22square, where she created a full project with the other interns in four weeks. This internship challenged her because she had to collaborate with the creative team, she said.
Besides her internships, Celis also held a position on the Campus Activities Board at USF. She served as event planner for one year and was promoted to vice president of marketing. It was her first leadership position. "This position let me understand how to work with different kinds of people and lead a team successfully to archive a common goal," she said.
Celis said she always wanted to get a job in the beauty or fashion industry, so for her third internships, she became the social media marketing intern at Not Your Mother's Haircare.
"This internship was truly a perfect fit for me," she said. "It allowed me to use the creative side that I always had."
She was very proud of getting this internship, as she always had a good eye for trends in the beauty industry. After five months into the position, Not Your Mother's Haircare decided to hire her for a full-time job.
Currently Celis works as the company’s social media and public relations coordinator and oversees the company’s marketing strategy on its social media channels. She works on bringing a broader platform to the brand.
"I truly don't think I would've been able to get such a position without all the prior experiences I had through my college years," she said.
"I would advise any students starting out to get out of their comfort zone and try out everything they can," she said, "Being involved on campus opened tons of doors for me and led me to meet people who shaped my professional career.”