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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

Fall 2021 with ABT

2 Mar

Interning with American Ballet Theatre this semester was an amazing opportunity, and I am grateful for this experience. Although my internship was remote, I was able to see many incredible performances in-person including the Fall Gala, Giselle, and Pride Nights. It was very special watching live ballet again after the pandemic. I come from a ballet background, and back in high school when I would attend ballet summer intensive, my friends and I would always go to see ABT.  

Interning with ABT allowed me to see all the work that went on behind the scenes. I had not known about arts administration as a career until my junior year of college. At ABT, I worked as a development intern for this semester and learned how to use various software applications like Raiser’s Edge. In addition, I worked on filling out donation and expense forms, along with writing acknowledgment letters. Other projects included donor research and preparing materials for the Fall Gala. I learned a lot through listening in on weekly special events, major gifts, and development meetings, and how different departments interact with each other.  

The internship was overall very educational and has helped greatly with my career development.  Weekly guest speakers helped me understand different roles within arts management. I was able to meet the other interns in person during the performance of Giselle, and everyone was so kind and welcoming. I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in arts administration. 

Anna Zheng 

Development Assistant Intern 

Fall 2021 

Summer at ABT

24 Aug

I have been wearing two different hats at ABT this summer. On some days, I wear the “Administrative” baseball cap and then on other days I wear the “Marketing” beanie cap. And then on some days, I wear them both, either switching off, or at the exact same time. No matter which one I wear, the work is challenging, eye opening, and yes, fun.

Getting to work on our first Marketing Task Force initiative was an exciting experience. After watching a dress rehearsal of Swan Lake, we invited a group of some of the most distinguished members in the marketing field to partake in a strategy session. Getting to hear about what people outside of the ABT world think of ABT was fascinating. Who would have ever thought that the Vice President of HBO Sports would be an avid ballet fan? Or that a partner at Goldman Sachs would attend ABT’s performances at the Met two to three times a week? This task force initiative truly showed me how the rest of the world perceives and witnesses ABT as a leading ballet company.

Learning from Kim about the administrative world has been such a wonderful compliment to my time in the marketing department. In learning about the nuts and bolts that hold ABT together, I have been able to take that knowledge and apply it to my work in marketing. So much of marketing has to do with how much you believe in your “product” and my admin experience has only strengthened my belief in, and love for, ABT.

While the aforementioned may seem like an ABT “love fest,” it is the only way that I can describe my experience this summer. It is rare to be surrounded by kind colleagues and stimulating work, and ABT has provided me with both. No day is ever the same and no interaction is ever the same, thus leaving room for the unexpected. It is this type of spontaneity, combined with artistic passion and integrity that has made this summer at ABT one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling ones yet.

Jaime Rosenstein

Marketing and Administrative Intern

Summer 2017