By: Jessica Ventura (Performing Arts Administration, ‘23)
On Friday, February 4, the NYU Performing Arts Administration graduate program hosted a panel for students to learn more about internship opportunities in several artistic disciplines . The panelists covered a comprehensive range of experiences in the commercial and nonprofit arts sectors, including membership, production management, education, publicity, and more.
Students heard directly from panelists who are currently interning and learned how they secured their internship and what it is like to work for a major New York City cultural organization. The latter half of the conversation featured internship supervisors from the New York City Center, Mark Morris Dance Group, and The Joyce Theater who shared how to make the most of the internship experience.
Lauren Genevieve ('22)
Membership and Events Intern, International Society for the Performing Arts
Stella Ji ('23)
Production Management Apprentice, New York City Center
Isabella Wang ('22)
Former Press Intern, American Ballet Theater
Knowledge, Learning and Leadership Intern, League of American Orchestras
Education Manager, New York City Center
Dance Center Operations Coordinator, Mark Morris Dance Group
Director of School & Family Programs, The Joyce Theater
Here are brief highlights from the conversation:
When did you start searching for internships? What was most important to you when choosing an internship?
"I did my research very early in February and March and googled the American Ballet Theater to see if they were offering an internship. It took some time to prepare because it's not only that you apply to an opening, but you have to think about if it is suitable for your goals." - Isabella Wang ('22), Former Press Intern at the American Ballet Theater.
How should you prepare for an interview?
"I like to feel great about a candidate right from the start. First, you should be very focused and clear about your goals for the internship. Then, show how you can use your experience as an asset to the role. I appreciate when an applicant lays out their previous experience and draws a path for how everything they've done up to that point would serve them well in exploring a new role." - Sarah Kutnowsky, Education Manager, New York City Center.
Were you prepared for your internship? What if you don't have all the skills necessary for a position?
"My internship at ISPA was completely different from what I expected. My supervisor left while I was there, and we had two months of changeover. It presented many interesting challenges and responsibilities, which was awesome because I got to see firsthand what the job required. My team was also welcoming and supportive, which contributed to my ability to fully try my best and not feel anxious when I had to ask questions. But, of course, the environment had a lot to do with that, so my experience felt like more than just being an intern." -Lauren Genevieve ('22), Membership and Events Intern, International Society for the Performing Arts.
What did you gain from the internship to help you in your future career?
"I went into my apprenticeship with goals, and one of them was to learn more about technical theater. The City Center is a union house, which prepares me to work in production company management in the future, which is what I want to do. I'm part of the planning and design meetings, which also means I'm getting to interact with many people in the performing arts around the country. For me, it's cool because these are people who I've been following for so long and they let me in the room with them. I’ve experienced a unique combination of artistic planning and production programming, while also having an administrative role." - Stella Ji ('23), Production Management Apprentice, New York City Center.
What advice would you tell yourself as an emerging arts administrator?
"Although I am still learning every day, I think back to when I first started. I wanted to prove myself with every little thing I did, and I did not allow myself a learning curve. I would feel so defeated when I didn't get everything right on the first try. You need to know that you're worth more than just the amount of work you do and that you are trying your best, and you're learning from your mistakes. Ask for help when you need it. It's okay to not come in as an expert and to let yourself grow." -Tiffany McCue, Dance Center Operations Coordinator, Mark Morris Dance Group.
Do you have a quick tip for those applying for a summer internship for 2022?
"You should volunteer with an organization you are interested in and see what happens. You never know who you're going to sit next to or talk to in the restroom. It's also a good opportunity to learn how you can contribute to an organization in whatever capacity. So take the opportunity to volunteer. And stay curious!" -Heather McCartney, Director of School & Family Programs, The Joyce Theater.
We want to offer our gratitude to Lauren Genevieve ('22), Stella Ji ('23), Isabella Wang ('22), Sarah Kutnowsky, Tiffany McCue, and Heather McCartney for sharing their insights and experiences with our students.