If you asked me the question of whether I would ever imagine completing an internship as the Marketing Assistant at Lancaster Arts 2 years ago, I would have said no. Coming to university in a completely new country to me, I could not have imagined such an opportunity. Not only did Lancaster Arts offer training and opportunities for volunteers, but they also offered a decent number of internships during the 3 years that I’ve been here.
Being a volunteer at Lancaster Arts for a year or so has definitely helped me a lot. I was told by many people that volunteering is extremely useful as you learn the basics of the organisation you volunteer for and it can also give you an advantage during job hunts. In my case, having experience working in the organisation as a volunteer and showing dedication, enthusiasm and skills, is in fact what got me the role of Marketing Assistant.
At the early stages of the internship, I focused on social media. Lancaster Arts has always been active on social media and this is the reason I was aware of their work from my first couple of days at the University. As a social media ‘addict’ myself, I was thrilled to find out I would partially be working on Social Media platforms. Seeing that LA was more active on Facebook and Twitter rather than Instagram, I took the initiative to grow LA’s popularity and awareness on Instagram, which is, by the way my favorite social media platform by far. LA had so much visual content, and as I see Instagram as a digital album, I wanted to take advantage of that and bring LA’s instagram page on the same level as their Facebook and Twitter pages. It took time and a lot of effort, but one year later I am more than happy to now say that LA’s Instagram page has reached over 1000 followers.
However, when you work at an organisation that values the connection of people, ideas and creativity, ‘being digital’ is not enough. I had to develop and maintain relationships with societies, students, and other arts organisations to encourage people around Lancaster to engage with the artistic programme. I promoted events to students on and off campus by organising and leading weekly promotional stalls, as well as arranging posters sessions around campus with the amazing help of volunteers. I also had the opportunity to plan and deliver a variety of projects and events such as Volunteers Christmas Socials, LU Societies Social 2018 and bring to life a very ambitious project, The 7 Seas Festival 2019, in partnership with 4 other students and LUSU.
Of course, having a part-time job as a student is not always easy and there were moments of stress, but I never regretted it. Having a deadline in a week when there were 3 events going on at Lancaster Arts was more than challenging but it was what I was prepared for. There were moments that I was not feeling as motivated and enthusiastic as I usually am, for example being at the promotional stall on a day when the majority of people were moody – and sometimes rude – was not the best way to start my day. But how could I focus on that when the people I was working with – both the LA team and the volunteers – were the most amazing, supportive and happy people?
Through this experience, I’ve learnt that a mistake is not the end of the world. I’ve learned how to give my 101% and be proud of that, and I’ve learnt to see the positive side on everything and always strive for the best. My experience at LA will certainly give a boost to my CV, but it has, more importantly boosted my confidence as a person and as an art marketer.
I’m proud that I can now say that my first ever job in the UK was at Lancaster Arts!