15 Feb

Dance has always been my escape. A place to forget about the pressure of my competitive rhythmic gymnastics career and the daily struggles at my all-girls high school. Though I knew that I did not want to pursue dance professionally, I recognized that there was no future career path for me that did not include dance or the performing arts in my daily work in some capacity. The ABT Executive Office Development Assistant Internship was the perfect blend of my passion for dance and the business and special events side of the art form.   

In college, I studied economics and media studies, continuously trying to find a way to combine those two disciplines as I did not want to go down the strictly business or artistic routes. When the opportunity to receive the Arts Management and Leadership Certificate at my school arose, it felt as though all my prayers had been answered. Getting to take classes like Introduction to Arts Management, Survey of Accounting, Business Law, and Strategic Communication and Marketing for the Arts, I knew that for my capstone course I wanted an experience that gave me that real world hands-on experience that would allow me to take everything I learned in the classroom and apply it in the workplace.  

ABT was perfect in all these ways. As my first experience interning for such a large organization, I was thrown straight into a world that I had admired from the seat in the audience my whole life. Getting paired with the most caring and supportive mentor, every day was a new learning opportunity and chance for growth. From the smallest tasks like filling out ticket requests and donation forms to larger assignments like conducting prospect research and report preparation for special projects including the Fall Gala and Board Committee meetings, I was able to see what the day-to-day life working in development at a nonprofit performing arts organization looked like.  

I will always look back on this experience with gratitude and appreciation for the amazing community at ABT, who cared about each student’s professional development in addition to their daily tasks. Getting to hear from leaders in different roles all throughout the development team and ABT as a whole twice a week, was an incredible way to see what various paths within a career in the performing arts can look like and opened my eyes to where I want to go post-graduation and beyond.  

Jennifer Ayzman

Development Executive Office Intern (Development)

Fall 2022


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