Dawn James


24 Jan Dawn James

“This was a graduate internship funded by Brunel which I saw advertised on graduatejobs.com. The experience was very rewarding and also very hard work, not least because I travelled up to 1.5 hours there and back every day and as an intern I was paid minimum wage. However this was a huge break for me- it initially started as a 10 week internship and 6 months later my contract has been extended several times. Whilst it is difficult not knowing if my job will be secure, I think that this proves once you have got your foot in the door somewhere the possibility of maximizing your experience grows substantially! It’s not all glamourous and I did a great deal of grunt work such as admin and HR, but the longer I  worked in the arts centre the more responsibility and interesting jobs I was given. I  worked on marketing two upcoming shows which was fast paced and great fun! I have also had the opportunity to work in the front of house, the box office and on large scale outdoor productions. Watermans is an ambitious arts centre with about 20 staff- so everyone has to pull their weight and contribute to the team. When I started this internship my main intention was to show I was reliable, willing to graft and work hard at anything I was given. This positive work ethic has shown my employers that I’m worth keeping. It took me a long time to find this position, but I kept trying and now I keep positive as I know I’m making an important contribution at Watermans and taking my career in the right direction.”

Why I loved it “I loved the job because it was a great way for me to gain INVALUABLE experience in the arts management business, and get a foot in the door! Arts management is a notoriously hard area to get into, and this internship provided the opportunity to learn loads!”

My best experience “The best experience was being involved in the outdoor arts production ‘The Tiger and The Emperor’ in Lampton Park, Hounslow. It was my responsibility to make this event accessible for deaf and disabled people and to help plan and run the event on the day.”

What I learned “I am constantly learning something new! I have learnt a great deal about how the arts industry works in practice and how arts venues operate and stay afloat. From funding applications to marketing shows, I’m given a great deal of varied work that contributes to different areas of the organisation. I have also learnt to use new software such as Ticketsolve, Access and Artifax.”