Developing Future Leaders for the Arts

by antonydunn on June 17, 2015

Sophie InksterYorkshire Dance is proud to employ paid interns with support from the Creative Employment Programme, an Arts Council England fund to support the creation of traineeships, formal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities in England for unemployed young people wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector.

We are very glad of this opportunity to foster the skills and ambitions of young people, and to do our bit towards creating a critical mass of highly-talented professionals to serve and steer the arts into the future.

Sophie Inkster, our Marketing & Development Intern, joined us in August 2014 after graduating from Lancaster University, and has made a hugely positive impact on the company’s work.

She was shortlisted earlier this year for Creative & Cultural Skills’ Intern of the Year Award. Andrew Ames, Communications & Development Coordinator at Creative & Cultural Skills, wrote, “Sophie was one of five interns shortlisted for the Award, the fact that the Intern of the Year Award was our strongest category shows what a good nominee Sophie was.”

You can read her brilliant article about ‘accidental audiences’ in a recent edition of Arts Professional here.

We asked Sophie, as she approaches the end of her time with us, to tell you in her own words what her experience of life as an intern at Yorkshire Dance has been like, and this is what she had to say…

“When I first started my role as Marketing & Development Intern at Yorkshire Dance, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, even if I was just going to be making coffee, as is often the assumption with internships, I was thrilled to have been offered the experience.

“Some may think that being an ‘intern’ may make you an inferior part of the team. In the case of my experience at Yorkshire Dance, such an opinion could not be more wrong. During my ten months in the office, I have always felt trusted and part of the team. I was given independence from the beginning, but was never afraid to ask for help and I always felt sure that people were willing to give it.

“I am very lucky to say that I have been given responsibility for a lot of the jobs within the marketing department – I work a lot on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) on updating the website and on writing press releases, at the same time as designing and delivering print. I have discovered that I really enjoy analysing, analysing and more analysing, so spend a lot of my time on Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

“Without wanting to sound too clichéd, Yorkshire Dance is a really fantastic place to work. I have learnt incredible amounts from Antony (Marketing & Communications Manager) and the other members of staff, for which I cannot thank them enough. My time has really been an invaluable step in my career. I have also had the opportunity to see lots of different performances at Yorkshire Dance – many of which I would never have considered watching had I not been here, and that has been a great experience.

“I will always remember my time at Yorkshire Dance and hope that the person who takes my place will have as good of a time as I have. I would really encourage anyone who is thinking of doing an internship in the arts to go for it.”

The whole team at Yorkshire Dance would like to thank you, Sophie, for your fantastic contribution to our life and work. We’ll miss you very much, and we wish you all the best with whatever comes next…

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