My Semester in Special Events

16 Dec

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of working for American Ballet Theatre. Back then I might have had a different outfit in mind, but when I was accepted into the internship program at ABT this fall I was more than thrilled to put on some business casual attire and translate my passion for the art and for the company through an administrative perspective.

This semester, I had the opportunity to work as the Special Events Intern in the Development Department where I was able to learn so much more about the company, how it operates as a large, successful nonprofit organization, and of course the components of planning, organizing, and executing special events. In this position, I was given the opportunity to not only assist with the important and necessary tasks that go into major events such as recording and filing new reservation information, drafting and mailing acknowledgement letters before and after events, and tracking expenses, but also attending and staffing the actual events themselves. This fall I had the opportunity to help work on three big events; the 2016 Fall Gala, the preview event for Alexei Ratmansky’s new ballet, Whipped Cream, and the 2016 Holiday Benefit.

By far, attending events was one of my favorite parts of the internship program. As the Special Events intern, one of the most rewarding aspects of the position was seeing how the little things I helped work on throughout the process of planning were visible, important components of making the event possible. I also really enjoyed getting to meet donors I had been communicating with through acknowledgement letters at events, it was a wonderful experience getting to place faces with names and further connect the work I had been doing in the office to an outside environment.

In addition to these special events, I really enjoyed helping out with other events in the Development Department as well, such as Membership Studio Visits, Junior Turnout, Company Class on Stage, and Board Meetings. I would highly recommend volunteering to help at as many of these events as you can because not only will you get the opportunity to work with all the incredible people who work in the Development Department at ABT and have even more opportunities to connect with donors, but you can also get a glimpse into some rehearsals to see the amazing artists in the company at work.

Interning at ABT was everything I hoped it would be and more. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in arts administration, development, or nonprofit work. You will be given a lot of responsibility, countless opportunities, and great insight into how the company operates from a different point of view.

Alyssa Wagner

Special Events Intern

Fall 2016


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