A photo of a woman sitting on a bed with a laptop on her lap.
Morgen Fett, an interdisciplinary studies major, is interested in working on issues related to waste and waste diversion. (Kevin Morley, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

Senior mixes business and creativity during internship facilitated by VCU funding program

Morgen Fett embraces real-world experience at consultancy whose founder has a special connection to VCU School of Business.

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Morgen Fett, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University, juggled her full-time schedules in school and work this spring with a part-time internship for Another Limited Rebellion, benefiting in part from VCU’s Internship Funding Program.

The program helps cover rent, travel and other expenses that, for many students, can make or break participation in an internship. It began as a pilot project in 2022 and has grown significantly this year: From more than 200 applications, the program awarded 79 scholarships (up from 51 last year), with grants totaling more than $270,000. Receiving the funding helped Fett concentrate on her internship and not feel stressed.

“I need a certain amount of money to live on, and a lot of internships are unpaid or low-pay,” said Fett, who is majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on philosophy of business and entrepreneurship through VCU University College. “Though I wanted real-world experience, I still needed to make sense of my time. The funding allowed me the opportunity to pay my bills and not burn myself out.”

Fett learned about an internship with a creative consultancy, Another Limited Rebellion, when taking a course on creative economy during the spring semester with Matt Woolman, a professor of graphic design in VCU’s School of the Arts and executive director of its Center for the Creative Economy. She went onto LinkedIn and began following the consultancy’s founding partner, Noah Scalin, who was the first-ever artist-in-residence at VCU’s School of Business.

Fett found Jeanette Hickl, assistant director of internships and experiential programs in VCU Career Services, extremely helpful and supportive during the application phase.

“She is a gem of a human being. She helped me every step of the way. If I had questions or needed to reach out, she was there, and she was a wealth of information,” Fett said.

After starting her internship, Fett began working with Mica Scalin, Noah’s sibling and the consultancy’s managing partner, on a white paper.

“We were trying to understand the role of creativity in business education,” Fett said. “I did research for the organization and parsed through the results. I did the metrics on the role of creativity in business. They liked my work and asked if I would do more.”

“Morgen was great,” said Mica Scalin, noting that Fett’s résumé stood out. “She was really enthusiastic and interested in our work. She had the right mix of curiosity and creativity to make the most of working with us.”

Scalin appreciated Fett’s prior experience in an entrepreneurial environment as well as her willingness to dive into a project.

“I love to challenge my interns to build on their existing skills,” Scalin said. “She jumped right in and was willing to try new things. Morgen was able to come to the table with more than I asked of her. I loved the fact that she had her own take on things. We are looking to find other ways to collaborate with her.”

Fett started college at Old Dominion University in Norfolk but left school before completing her degree. She worked for startup companies for a while and then as a business consultant in a variety of industries, from green energy to food and beverage.

Fett made her way to Richmond and VCU by way of Virginia Beach and later Seattle, where she lived and worked during the pandemic’s early years. The growth in Richmond was a draw. Fett felt the area “was a great place to build opportunities for myself.”

When applying to schools to finish her degree, she looked for a university with a well-respected business program, and VCU fit the bill. Later, Fett switched to interdisciplinary studies so she could tailor a program to her objectives.

“I was lucky to find the IDS program to curate my degree with the help of adviser Richard Quarshie,” she said.

Fett is eager to build on her academic and real-world experiences.

“I want to help people take their next steps,” said Fett, who is interested in issues related to waste and waste diversion. “I want to do some consulting work for this.”