ABT’s Role in Guiding my Career Path

9 Dec

As a recent graduate who struggled to decide what to do next, The American Ballet Theatre had a wonderful impact on deciding what I wanted to do with my career. I have interned with other for-profit companies, and I wanted to see what the nonprofit world was like. I wanted to experience what it was like working with people who were passionate about what they were doing and who they were working for. The thing I love about ABT’s mission is that they are looking to provide arts and culture to the largest community they can. Working for a company that works for their audience was rewarding.

I learned all about how nonprofit annual taxes work in various states in the US. I helped analyze financial processes on ABT’s accounting software and learned where and how this company allocates its finances. I helped out with some credit card expense reports and learned about DanceUSA – a community designed to help other arts companies around the nation. 

Godwin, Talisa, and Belzin were a lovely team of people who were willing to guide and teach me. I had a great Zoom call with Talisa one day discussing why getting a CPA was not for everyone. As someone who is pursuing my CPA, it was nice to hear from a woman in finance who told me why it was not always the best option for everyone. It was not a very long conversation, but it was an impactful one for me. I appreciate Godwin always checking in with me and making sure I understood what I was doing. He tried to make the best of this unique situation, and I am so grateful to him for that. I can tell Godwin knows how to be a good leader to his team and to me. He always provided clear direction and guidance, which is honestly a luxury as far as internships go. 

Dennis’ weekly meetings were also extremely helpful for me when I was deciding if the nonprofit sector was for me. He taught us what the company did, its different functions, and set up meetings with various people in ABT to learn a little about their role. Some of my favorite Zoom meetings were with Kara Barnett, the executive director, and Rachel Richardson, a company dancer. I loved learning about ballet and the inner workings of a huge and widely known ballet company. I am hoping that one day I will be able to visit 890 Broadway in person and experience an environment surrounded by talent and passion. 

Madison Ryan

Finance Intern

Fall 2020

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