3 August 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 41

Olivia Richardson, NoFit State Circus

Where to start? Or rather, ‘where to end?’

It’s difficult to believe that this time last year I was on the sofa in my pyjamas, back living at home with my parents after 3 years at university, without a road to go down or even the slightest inkling of a career. Little did I know that under a year later, I’d be enjoying my last day at the circus, ready to climb the next rung of the ladder and jump into a permanent fundraising job.

Because frankly, I didn’t have a plan.

I was scared, terrified even, at the thought of people asking “what next, then?” because I didn’t have an answer. I knew I wanted to stay within the arts and if I was honest, I knew I wanted to be back in Cardiff, so applying for and getting a place on the Creative Internships programme with Arts & Business Cymru was completely perfect for me. I genuinely felt like everything had fallen into place and that everything I had learnt and experienced so far, be that school or university or my gap year, had been leading up to this opportunity.

This year for me has been incredible. And I seriously mean, incredible.

Let’s start with the information.

All the brand new information that has been squished and crammed into my head (and my head is pretty huge for quite a small person, so that’s impressive!) in a relatively short space of time has been phenomenal. Be that from attending the Arts & Business Cymru training courses that gave a huge boost on starting the internship as I had had no experience of any kind of arts management up until this point, to the inconceivable amount I have learnt from my line manager, Bethan and Mentor, Alison at NoFit State. Before I started in September, NoFit had a development team of one. Just one. And so my time with the Circus and with Bethan has been incredibly varied, with me being able to access and help out with all aspects of arts fundraising and for me that has been the most valuable aspect. The sheer breadth of opportunities that have been open to me is outstanding, and also the amount I have learnt about myself - I am so so thankful.

That leads me swiftly on to my new found family.

I can hand-on-heart say I have never felt more welcomed and a genuine part of a group of people than at NoFit State. My time at the circus has been relatively brief but boy, it is a time I will never forget. What a place to start a career! I have made friends for life and have been a part of something that I couldn’t have ever imagined being part of less than a year ago. To NoFit State, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me one of the most amazing and unique first stepping stones into a career I could have ever asked for. I will miss you all, (yes! All of you!) but look forward to seeing you all in the Big Top very soon!

Arts & Business Cymru. Thank you for pulling my application out of the pile, giving little old me a chance and partnering me with the most perfect company. I can’t express how appreciative I am to have been part of such a marvellous project and I firmly believe that without this wonderful springboard, I would still be on my parent’s sofa without a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life.

For giving me a purpose, I am eternally grateful.

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