Interning for One of the Most Prestigious Institutions in the Dance Industry… Through A Screen.

18 May

When I received my offer letter for a position at THE American Ballet Theatre, I froze. I will say that I am a confident young man, but the honor of being accepted into the family of a pioneering dance company was overwhelming. I gladly accepted the position of Chief Philanthropy Officer Intern (the only male in my cohort) and my journey began.

At first, jumping into the deep end felt like a mad frenzy. I had really no idea what I was doing. We had a brief orientation to become familiar with the software and databases, but then it was off and immediately I was tasked with my first project. I was fortunate to have had an amazing supervisor assisting me along the way and answering any questions I had… because there were many! In what I would come to find out was typical ABT fashion, I leaned into the feeling of confusion and tackled each project head-on. Over the semester, I drafted acknowledgment letters to major donors and trustees, created presentations for board meetings, wrote transcripts, researched organizations for prospective partnerships, pulled records and information from databases, and much more. 

In a normal year, the ABT  internship program would run in the main building at 890 Broadway. Given the restricted circumstances of the pandemic, my entire 16 weeks of building connections and creating relationships took place via Zoom meetings, emails, and phone calls. The absence of in-person interaction definitely created a small void in the full intern experience, but my time as an intern was absolutely fulfilling and one I will never forget. 

While in my last year of undergrad at NYU, I was also an RA, worked part-time at school, served on the boards of multiple organizations on campus, tore my meniscus and underwent surgery, worked outside of school choreographing and performing on different projects, etc. I say all this to say that I had to juggle a lot this semester and it was most certainly intense, but the ABT team being flexible made it all manageable. Special shout out to Kaitlyn Frieling, Georgia Siampalioti, Dennis Walters, and my cohort. I’ve had a blast!

Malcolm Young

Chief Philanthropy Officer Intern

Spring 2021

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