26 November 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 7

Corinne Cox, National Museum Wales 

As month two draws to a close it’s strange to think that I’m already a fifth of the way through my internship at Amgueddfa Cymru!

One of the areas of the Arts& Business Creative Internship Programme that I have benefitted from the most so far is the support I’ve received from my Business Mentor. At the start of the internship, we were all interviewed (again!) to match us with professionals who would provide both a good personality match and sounding board for ideas but more importantly an individual who could challenge us to reflect on our professional practise as part of our ongoing development - ultimately helping us to become better fundraisers.

At my most recent session me and my mentor considered an alternative approach to career planning which emphasised the importance of having a series of systems in place to prepare us for the vast array of opportunities that could present themselves in the future. This was a step removed from the traditional, and in certain respects limiting at this stage in my career, goal orientated approach that I was previously familiar with. As I continue to gain experience across a range of different areas of Fundraising in my role at Amgueddfa Cymru it can be hard to visualise exactly where I will be in several years from now and which area I will have specialised in. Yet the systems based approach enables me to continue developing skills across the wealth of areas relevant to fundraisers (research, networking, written communications, database experience, strategic thinking) in a practical and structured way that makes CPD manageable and rewarding and not set on a goal which could well change in a year from now.

The everyday example we used as a means of analogy centred on getting fit. How many people have had the goal of ‘getting fit’ at some point or other in their lives without implementing any sort of system to achieve it? It is a lot harder to achieve your goals without systems in place. The systems based approach would forget the overall goal and instead put a number of systems in place e.g. placing your running kit next to your bed in the morning so you get up and go. (Of course this approach does involved discipline!). The ultimate outcome would be you were fitter but being disciplined enough to integrate the daily run into your routine would be a system that you would continue to benefit from well into the future.

For me it has proved insightful at a time when I am still discovering which areas of Development best suit my skills set and has provided me with a structure to becoming the best fundraiser I can be. From creating my own personal research resource, creating mechanisms to bring my ideas to the table and remaining on top of current trends that characterise the sector the insight and support of the Business Mentors is one of the unique selling points of the A&B programme and has played an important role in my experience at National Museum Wales so far. 

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