Monday, September 24, 2007

Adventures in Internship

A note on her experiences from development intern Elise Cherpin:
Working at the Pasadena Playhouse this summer was a great experience. As a Development Intern, I was very excited to work with a Development staff. I could see from my first day there that the Playhouse has a very active development vision and I was excited to be a part of that team. I enjoyed learning about different aspects of development and because I was an intern, I participated in all areas, such as Individual Giving, Event Planning, and Institutional Giving. The summer musical Can-Can had a fun, vibrant atmosphere and so I worked especially in Event Planning, helping with many special events, from Opening Night to private parties to Closing Night. I also helped with some of the beginning stages of planning the Fall Gala, which gave me great insight into organizing a large fundraising event. Working on different projects gave me great overall understanding of what Development staffs in non-profit organizations do and I believe that it is because of this internship that I am now more interested in non-profit development as a future career.

I am grateful that the Playhouse re-confirmed my love of the arts and my desire to work in performing or visual arts. The Playhouse was my first time working with a theatre so I definitely learned a lot about the theatre world. I especially enjoyed our weekly Intern lunch meetings where we met with different Playhouse staff members. Not only did I discover more about theatre in general, but I also gained valuable knowledge about how non-profit art organizations run in general. Definitely keep that program going!

I do recommend each intern having a larger, specific project that is more of their own and they can work on throughout the entire ten-week internship. I experienced a little of that at the end of my program and once I completed the project, the level of pride was definitely something I wish I could have experienced more throughout my time there. A larger project also gives the intern an opportunity to be mentored by the supervisor, providing more contact which can be helpful in both the short and long-term. Also, I recommend weekly or bi-weekly meetings between the intern and their supervisor just to confirm things are going well and to have an opportunity for questions about the job, organization, or non-profit arts in general.

I never really had the chance to thank everyone for their kindness and help. The staff felt close and I greatly enjoyed being a part of the Playhouse “family.” If there’s any way you can pass that along, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks also for the happy hour outing! I hope the Playhouse continues to thrive and I can come back sometime soon to experience it!

Thanks Kappy!

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