9 July 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 36

Faye Hobson, The MAC

Last weekend I had the opportunity to see the MAC doing what it does best - showcasing new and exciting home-grown talent during Pick ‘n’ Mix Festival; a 2 day whirlwind of theatre, dance, performance art and shows in unexpected places. The Festival is just one of the projects that the MAC is involved in designed to support and develop the arts sector in Northern Ireland. It was great to see this happening right before my eyes with artists trailing new pieces of work to captivated audiences. It’s brilliant to see projects like Pick ‘n’ Mix come alive outside of the pages of reports or application forms; the challenge to any fundraiser is to capture the creative essence and excitement of such projects and communicate this to a funder.

Since my last blog I have enjoyed taking the lead on Trusts and Foundations fundraising, an area which I find fascinating because of the huge potential that this type of funding offers. Working with the programming team at the MAC to match projects to funders has been great and I find that as my knowledge grows I feel more confident in offering recommendations about which project I think fits with a particular funder. I also took the lead on my first two funding applications and a funder report this month, an experience that was equally terrifying and exhilarating! When taking these first independent steps into the world of fundraising I was unbelievably grateful for the fantastic training that I have received from Arts & Business NI and felt reassured to have the support of my arts mentor Anne McReynolds (Chief Executive of the MAC), who was able to advise and guide me through the process.

This month the Interns took part in some filming for Arts & Business NI about the Creative Internships Scheme. This gave me the opportunity to get away from my desk and reflect on the internship experience so far. For those of you reading this and considering an internship I thought it might be useful to share some of the thoughts discussed in the films, so here are my top tips:

  • Choose wisely: A well-structured internship can offer really valuable work experience and insights into working within an industry, making it a great first step from education into the world of work. Have a clear idea of the skills, knowledge, networks and experience that you want to gain and choose a host organisation that can help you to realise this.
  • Be a great intern: Make the most of every opportunity, look for areas where you can offer your skills, and use initiative to find ways to add value to everything you do. If you aren’t sure about something don’t be afraid to ask for support from colleagues, you are there to learn after all!
  • Getting the most out of it: It is important to make the most of your time as an intern, an agreed set of objectives can help to focus your efforts and allow you to evaluate how successful you have been. Plan your exit strategy and think about how you can take your new-found experience and networks forward with you.

As my time as a Creative Intern draws to a close I am excited to take the next steps in my career, I have no doubt that the fundraising experience gained as an intern will open many doors for me in the years to come. The Creative Internships programme has been absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

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