ABT-erning 101

21 Dec

My internship with ABT was nothing but great. I worked with the Major Gifts team in the Development Office and it was my first look into the administration side of dance. This internship was my first office internship and learning the ropes of a new place can always be hard. I spent a lot of time worrying about what office appropriate attire or when lunch break was.  I thought maybe there would be other people starting their internship with similar thoughts I had, and so below are just some answers to concerns you may have! I can only speak for the Major Gifts Intern position and this is all based on my experience. Every department is slightly different and experiences differ from person-to-person.

What you wear really depends on the department you’re working for. Working as the Major Gifts intern you interact with a lot with donors and so it’s always best to come dressed business casual.  That means no jeans or torn clothing; remember, you want to look professional and presentable.

The people in Development usually eat their lunch at their desk. I didn’t eat at all on my first day because I assumed there was a lunch break (like in The Office and Parks and Recreations), but people just eat at their desk when they’re hungry.

Everyone is very friendly and genuinely nice.  On my first day I introduced myself once, but by the time I was leaving they knew my name. When I heard “Bye Leiden!” I was very surprised and touched that they made the effort to remember who I was, even though they met me three hours ago. I asked so many questions and everyone was very willing to help and answer. My first few days I had to constantly ask the staff for directions to the bathroom or the mailroom and everyone was very understanding and helpful!

Through this experience I gained so much understanding and knowledge about dance and arts administration. Even beyond the work, I’ve had wonderful conversations with security, a company pianist, and donors. The whole place is brimming with talent, history, and remarkable people—it’s something I will truly miss.

Leiden Doma

Major Gifts Intern

Fall 2017


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