It looks like I’ll be working all summer, and that’s a good thing.
A key aspect of the MA/MBA program at SMU is the focus on gaining practical experience in arts organizations. It’s a good chance to gain experience in new areas, bolster the skills learnt in courses, and forge connections that will assist in transitioning back into the workforce (i.e. get a job). For most MBA programs, you are expected to undertake a summer internship as a requirement of the degree.
For the SMU MA/MBA, we are required to undertake no less than three internships – one in the second semester, one in the summer, and one in the final semester. It’s a great opportunity, although a lot of hard work on top of the existing heavy course load.
I’m already over halfway through my first internship, working with the development team of the Dallas Opera as an analytics intern. Development, for those of you outside the arts world, relates to fundraising from individuals and corporations, and is a large part of the revenue picture for American arts organizations. My role is to try and use analytics to provide insights on how the relationship with donors can be enhanced. So far the experience has been amazing, and I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues.
At the same time, I have been seeking out opportunities for my summer internship. There is a strong imperative from even before you start the MBA program to begin hunting for a summer internship, and so we were polishing up our résumés during orientation week, and preparing for mock interviews during the first weeks.
This week it all finally came to fruition, and after a number of applications, interviews, and discussions with supervisors, colleagues (and one or two CEOs), I accepted an offer for a summer internship.
I’m going to Washington D.C. for the summer.
I’ll be taking up an internship position with Americans for the Arts, an advocacy organization that supports arts entities throughout the country, and that undertakes research to examine the impact of the arts on communities and society. It’s an honour to be selected for their internship program, and I am looking forward to the challenge.
The next step for me is to find a place to live in Washington for the summer, but I am hopeful I’ll find something.
Time to wrap this up, there’s a few more hours of homework to do before I head off to my internship for the afternoon – helping the team at a post-performance event in the city. The company opened a run of Korngold’s magnificent “Die tote Stadt” this week, so there’s a lot of tie-in events happening.
But at least the second internship is sorted out. Now to start looking for the third one...
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
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