10 June 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 35

Ava Plowright, Wales Millennium Centre

Unbelievably, this is my penultimate blog entry!  It’s amazing to think that soon there will be a new group of Creative Interns embarking on their 10 month journey. I’m so happy that the scheme will be continuing for another year, and that a new group of graduates will be given this unique head start into a career in arts fundraising. I can’t wait to watch from the ‘other side’ as they progress.

On day one of our internships, we were told to be like ‘sponges’ over the coming 10 months, and soak up as much knowledge as possible – this is something I’ve really taken to heart! Training has been a big part of the internship, punctuating our on the job learning with a really wide variety of courses. Over the internship I’ve grabbed any course offered to me with both hands, determined to make the most of the opportunity to learn.

A few weeks ago, I was given the chance to attend a course led by my business mentor, Alison Love. Alison is a former HR practitioner and employment lawyer, and now a professional mediator and coach. She has recently written a book - The Manager’s Guide to Mediating Conflict - and the course was based around this, teaching lots of practical skills for dealing with conflict in the workplace. I found that many of the skills, such as deep listening and positively reframing a negative statement, have translated really well into my day to day work, helping particularly with donor care which is a huge part of any fundraiser’s role.

I’ve also learned loads from the events I’ve had the chance to attend, both with Wales Millennium Centre and Arts & Business Cymru. Last night, I attended Cardiff Question Time, an event sponsored by our partners Cardiff Business Council, which was a debate and discussion on various issues relating to Cardiff’s standing in the UK market. It was so interesting to hear the views of all the panellists, who each came from very different fields.

What struck me most is that all of us – arts organisations, leisure and tourism destinations, and commercial businesses – share the same core goal. We all want a wider range of people to come to Cardiff, stay for longer and see more of the amazing things we have to offer. This will be so much easier to achieve if we all work together, combining what we have to offer and spreading the word as far as possible. A lofty goal maybe, but a really exciting one too!

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