Take 2… Action!

7 Jun

As a lifelong dancer, in my eyes it doesn’t get much better than the American Ballet Theater. That is why for years I had waited for the perfect moment to apply for ABT’s renowned internship program. After reading through every square inch of internship information available on the ABT website as well as dozens of blog posts from previous interns, I was convinced this was going to be a turning point in my arts career.

It was March 2020, and I was sitting down in my brother’s childhood bedroom, the quietest room I could find in my family home to do my ABT interview. I had spent the past week doing my research and preparing as much as possible. All I could do now was stay calm, cool, and collected and cross my fingers. The call ends, and I am ecstatic… I think it went super well! But then a week, two weeks, a month goes by and no word from ABT. Eventually, I hear back and am told that I was not selected to be a 2020 summer intern at ABT.

Naturally, I was disappointed. As a junior in college, 2020 had already proven to be a difficult year amidst the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolated, virtual livelihood that ensued. This rejection just felt like another let down.

It is now November of 2021, and I decided I was ready to reapply to the ABT internship program. This time, I had set my sights specifically on an internship in Development. Since my last application, I had taken the time to explore the field of arts administration more specifically, through various marketing, education, consulting, and PR arts-related internships. I was going into this second application cycle with a more clear and informed lens into what it means to work in the arts and why I was specifically interested in Development.

When I learned that I had gotten an internship in Major Gifts for Spring 2022, it was such a surreal moment. It felt as though everything I had been working towards for the last two years had led up to this one moment. The internship was such an amazing experience, full of incredible mentors, projects, insights, and a strong sense of community. Working closely with the Major Gifts and Development team as we prepared for the Met 2022 season gave me hands-on experience into both the day-to-day operations of development and show-specific work required to fundraise at a large arts nonprofit. From writing renewal letters to organizing the list of donors for the playbill, this internship gave me the long-desired opportunity to work in development in the arts.

To anyone who may have applied in the past and been rejected, this is your sign to take the dive and apply again. Sometimes, a difficult rejection may open a new door that is exactly what you are looking for but had no idea ever existed.

Sophie Blue

Major Gifts Intern

Spring 2022

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