7 December 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 9

Sophie Potter, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

After 9 weeks at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, what’s certain is that the small word ‘fundraising’ does not capture the scope of work that is involved in the process. In my time at the College I have been given such a wide variety of tasks and projects that it is difficult to know where to begin when describing my role to non-fundraisers. From drafting press releases and organising photo opportunities, to liaising between corporate sponsors and puppeteers and planning jazz performances at business events - the variety of work is vast, yet, every little task contributes towards the end goal of supporting the College. This daily range of work creates a strong set of transferrable skills that will be essential in the professional world, out of the safety net of the internship. It is the first steps in creating a Portfolio Career, giving experience not only in fundraising, but also in events planning, marketing, budgeting, and creative thinking.

As mentioned by the other interns, one of the most rewarding aspects of the internship is the mentors programme. Having monthly meetings with an Arts Mentor and a Business Mentor along with weekly Manager Meetings means that the support network of the internship is very strong and gives the chance to pick the brains of professionals in a one-to-one context. Even daily, within the office surrounding staff are willing to patiently answer questions and give advice on the smallest of things. Additionally, the support network within the wider community of fundraisers in Cardiff is also encouraging. After having attended my first ‘Cardiff Development Forum’ – a quarterly meeting for Arts fundraisers in Cardiff to network, give advice and share experiences, I was amazed and inspired by the spirit of collaboration and support that came across during the meeting. It also highlighted the huge differences between all the arts organisations, in general terms but also in terms of how each organisation’s fundraising department works, and the importance of remaining subjective as an intern; the need to try and place your experiences in a wider context and think, ‘how could I apply this information in a different organisation?’.

Most of all, it seems as though the internship is as much about learning about yourself in a professional context as is it learning the trade. Thankfully, at the College I am lucky to have time to reflect on my work and achievements (as little as they may be at this stage), as well as my personal professional development. The space to test the water within the fundraising world and find out what aspects of working I enjoy and excel at within a safe environment is really what makes the internship special, as well as learning from the huge achievements and advancements that are happening around me.

View all news