The Strategy in New Potentials

10 Aug

HannahinternphotoWhen I walked into 890 Broadway for the first time at the beginning of June, I had no idea what to expect. To say I was wide-eyed would be an understatement. After my first brand new experience of the day — a morning commute through the streets of NYC — I meandered through the hallway in an attempt to find my office, but became more focused on the seemingly never-ending assortment of ABT history that plastered the walls. I think it was this immersion in the years and years worth of posters, photographs, and advertisements that caused the excitement of my upcoming internship to really sink in. I understood just how much I would inevitably gain from being a part of an organization of such rich history and carried with such great passion.

As I settled into my role at ABT, my growth and development felt tangible when I walked out the doors of 890 each day having learned something new about ABT, about the arts world, or about myself. Along with my development, that initial wide-eyed sentiment morphed into a recognition of how the variety of experiences opened my eyes to the previous unknown inner workings of this complex and incredible world. By virtue of my particular position as an intern in the Strategic Initiatives office, I have worked on projects that have required me to learn about every other department in the organization, and especially how they interact with each other. In this way, I am coming away with a new, broader understanding of the complexity of arts administration in nonprofits, and both the day-to-day tasks and long-term research projects that are involved in ABT’s best strategic efforts. My projects were wide-ranging — from website editing to Women’s Movement research to industrial data analysis to much more — and exposed me to a variety of work methods, hard skills, and soft skills. The commonality was they all helped me learn about important facets of ABT’s strength, and I felt as though we were making on working ABT stronger from many different creative approaches.

Aside from my departmental work, I was able to learn even more about the extensive nature of the company and industry through the programming for interns. All of us interns, all of whom are incredibly talented and passionate people I’m grateful to have met, gathered each Friday to learn about some aspect of ABT or arts administration in general. We received advice from ABT’s inspiring Executive Director, a Q & A with an ABT Principal ballerina, a crash course on accounting and 990 forms from the Senior Director of Finance, a resume and cover letter workshop from the Director of Edu & Training, and so much more. We were also fortunate enough to meet interns at a peer arts organization, Roundabout Theatre Company, attending a Roundabout play and an ABT ballet with them and sharing thoughts on our organizations and experiences. These experiences were invaluable in supplementing our departmental experiences and really gave us the comprehensive, holistic ABT experience. Feeling surrounded by such genuine support and by staff members so intent on helping answer our questions, and educate and expose us to as much as possible, was so invaluable.

Over the summer, I came to consider that a sense of care, excitement, and responsibility to a beautiful company — that the ABT posters inspired in me on the first day — is what inspires everyone’s work here, and is how the organization thrives. And although I eventually became accustomed to navigating both the city streets and the office corridors, I remain wide-eyed at the history and community that have surrounded me over these 10 weeks. A poster of a glowing Misty Copeland as the Firebird greeted me right above my desk every day; multiple days at “work” involved spending time at the indescribably stunning Metropolitan Opera House; every conference room and meeting space has at least some gem of ABT decor from past or present to lend a sense of inspiration to the space; music from classes in which the next generation of America’s National Ballet Company’s talent is being trained floats through the hallways. I am so grateful to have had my eyes opened not only to the rich history and beauty that pervades ABT’s culture, but also to the complex, difficult, exciting, and multi-faceted world behind the scenes that makes it all happen, and that has taught me so much. I can’t wait to see how the things to which my eyes have been opened will affect my future path!

Hannah Fein

Strategic Initiatives Intern

Summer 2018

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