Announcing Viget’s Digital Project Manager Apprenticeship
Anna Lewis, Former Senior Recruiter
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new training program at Viget—the Digital Project Manager Apprenticeship.
The word “apprenticeship” sounds quaint (or does it?), but don’t be fooled. In our industry, “apprenticeship” usually refers to a specialized program for novices to train alongside an expert in order to gain hands-on experience and close mentorship. A couple examples, among many, of modern-day Apprenticeships include Fresh Tilled Soil’s UX Apprenticeship and 8th Light’s Apprenticeship for programmers.
However, as far as we know, nothing like an apprenticeship has ever existed for one of the most critical and complex roles in our industry: Digital Project Managers (DPMs).
We are excited to give it a try! Here are a few reasons why:
- The talent is there, but it needs training. Right now, the market abounds with new and recent college graduates curious about our industry, but without an obvious way to enter it. They often hold degrees in non-technical subjects that have taught them to think critically, solve problems creatively, and communicate intelligently. They also love technology. But they have no idea the DPM job even exists.
- Our industry needs and deserves stronger DPMs. Everywhere we look, a new bootcamp is sprouting up to teach future applicants how to code. But who is training up the next generation of DPMs to work alongside them? The DPM role is critical to the success of our projects, at Viget and throughout our industry. We hope to help nurture a growing field of expertise that often seems overlooked.
- Full disclosure: we think recruiting for DPMs is hard, and we hope this will help. We have a thorough DPM evaluation process that includes multiple real-work-based exercises. And, yet, there’s no way to reproduce the unique, real-time challenges that come with client-facing work. Will every DPM Apprentice join Viget full-time? No. But we do hope to learn better who might be a fit for Viget and, while we’re at it, prepare all Apprentices to land competitive, first-time jobs in our industry.
So, what does the DPM Apprenticeship look like?
It’s a twelve-week, paid training program, held at our DC-based Headquarters during the Fall of 2015 (and again in the winter or spring). If you join as a DPM Apprentice, you'll receive direct, daily mentorship from one of our full-time DPMs. You'll closely shadow your mentor in order to learn the full depth and breadth of a DPM’s responsibilities. You'll also tackle a variety of challenges, exercises, and prompts in order to build your own DPM skill set. Ideally, toward the end of the Apprenticeship, you'll have the chance to manage a starter project of your own. The goal is to expose the Apprentice as much as possible to the DPM role, while remaining open-minded about where the Apprentice’s real strengths and interests may lie—we anticipate and welcome discovering that an Apprentice might want to go on to pursue, say, UX or software development after experiencing our DPM Apprenticeship.
What does it take to become a DPM Apprentice? Thanks for asking! In a nutshell, it’ll take: smarts, curiosity, and grit. To learn more or apply, check out our full listing here, and help spread the word!