It’s Not All About the Glamorous Work

5 Nov

To say that interning at ABT is a good experience would be an understatement – being a part of the Education Outreach Department this semester has confirmed my desire to work in this field. I have seen so much already of the wide range of responsibilities of my mentor, Dennis Walters who is Associate Director of Education Outreach and Training. On my first day at ABT I found Dennis at the back of Studio 9, cleaning out years of old posters, lightbulbs, and even pieces from his former glass desk. After spending an entire morning, going through boxes and throwing out trash, we finally sat down at my desk to familiarize myself with the different platforms I would use on a regular basis at ABT. I always enjoy working on the variety of tasks Dennis assigns me, but the most satisfying thing is to see the fruits of your hard work on a big project. For a few weeks, I helped Dennis work on preparation for the ABT Works and Process event at the Guggenheim, which included assembling the program and making powerpoint presentations. I had the privilege of attending the Works and Process event on the second night and felt such a sense of accomplishment and thrill seeing my presentations on the front screen.


Robert Altman courtesy of Works and Process at the Guggenheim

Another aspect I love about working in the Education Department is the environment. With my desk next to Claire Florian and Sascha Radetsky, I sense both their good and more challenging days with the Studio Company. I get to sit in on meetings with Dennis and the rest of the Education Outreach team, seeing first-hand what goes into planning such big events. Hearing all of the different conversations that take place, from the jokes (mainly from Dennis!) to discussions of partnership between schools and ABT, I am excited to hopefully one day be part of such an organization.

Lastly, the weekly intern meetings Dennis organizes have been such amazing opportunities to hear from all different positions within the organization. One guest speaker, Kyle Pickles, Company Manager of ABT, talked about the difference between working in a for-profit versus non-profit company. He said that at a for-profit company, everyone works together for the sole purpose of making money. But at a non-profit organization, such as ABT, everyone works together for one purpose and mission, which creates a stronger bond in the company. During my short semester interning at ABT, I feel honored to have been able to take part in carrying out ABT’s mission, while gaining such invaluable experiences and skills.

Melissa Cheng

Education Outreach Intern

Fall 2018

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