A Unique Intern Experience

7 Jun

The beauty of my internship with ABT was that I had the opportunity to work with several different departments as the Management Intern. My internship was a little non-traditional in this way since most interns are in a single department, but I was able to work with Education to build a student tracking system, with Development completing ticket order forms for the Met Season, with Company Management creating a tour book with all the relevant information for their spring tour, and with General Management to write petition letters for visa applications. I learned different skills from each one of these projects that will be valuable to me as I move forward in my career.

I loved starting a new project with a different office because I could ask questions about what they do and how their department operates. This gave me more insight as to what area I would want to pursue. I especially enjoyed talking with Company Management. They were always so helpful and always asked me what I was interested in so I could explore that area even more. Working on the tour book was one of my favorite projects because it felt like I was working really close to the dancers and art being created on stage. In one of our weekly intern meetings, Ashley Baer, the Company Manager, said that she loves to be as close to the stage as possible without being on it and her job provided this for her. As soon as she said this I felt like she had finally articulated everything I felt about arts administration that I couldn’t find the right words for. Since then I have realized that jobs and projects that allow me to work almost directly with the final product are where I want to build a career.

The environment was very supportive at ABT which I always appreciated as an intern that was attempting to learn the ropes and understand how the company operated. ABT is a huge company but everyone always wanted me to succeed and was prepared to do whatever it took to make sure I felt supported. One thing that I have always struggled with in past internships is asking for help and knowing when it was okay to do so. I never felt scared to ask someone a question or for clarification on something which ultimately made my work better. So not only was I able to get over my fear of being looked at as someone who did not know how to do something, I was also able to learn how to ask the right questions to get the answers that I needed to do my best work. This is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned, and I can attribute that to the supportive environment that ABT creates for their interns.

This was truly one of the best work experiences that I have ever had and I am so thankful for the opportunity. I learned so much about myself and the wonderful work that happens at ABT. Even though my experience was perhaps not the most traditional one since it was working in multiple departments and it was totally on zoom due to the pandemic, I would not change a thing because the skills I have learned are so valuable to me and I know this internship will help me build the career that I have always wanted.

Tilmon Splawn

Management Intern

Spring 2022

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