Home » Sections » Arts » Students speak: summer internships in the arts

Students speak: summer internships in the arts

By Katie Decker-Jacoby

Section: Arts, Featured

August 25, 2017

Summer—a time for college students to catch up on the hours of sleep that slipped away during the school year, a time for ice cream and cold drinks with old friends; a time for challenging, yet rewarding summer jobs and internships, a time for learning “how to adult,” a time for adventures near and far. For Brandeis students Anna Craven ’18, Michelle Dennis ’18 and Emma Hanselman ’18, summer 2017 was a time for internships within the spectacular realm of arts. Each student took a moment to share their own unique experience.

Anna Craven ’18: Rhode Island International Film Festival, Providence, Rhode Island

Hi y’all! My name is Anna Craven and I am a rising senior from Boston! I am double majoring in Film, TV & Interactive Media and Creative Writing, with a minor in Legal Studies. This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), an Oscar-qualifying film festival that takes place every year in Providence.

I worked as a Sponsorship & Development Associate, meaning I researched leads for potential sponsors and worked with current sponsors to help coordinate events like Opening Night, ticketing and our screenwriting workshop. In addition, all interns and staff members judged and sorted through the 6,000+ films submitted to the festival, narrowing down the final selection to just over 250! Out of these 250 films, RIIFF will nominate three for the Oscars: a short documentary, a short animation and a short narrative film.

I absolutely loved working with RIIFF, and would recommend any students interested in pursuing the film industry to look into working with film festivals. I found working at a film festival gave me insight into the lives and journeys of independent filmmakers, while also allowing me to see how everything lined up behind the scenes. My advice for future students interested in art-related internships would be to apply early and thoroughly research what is available. While many arts-related internships are often unpaid, Brandeis has a lot of resources for students in regard to unpaid internships. I applied in February for internships and was able to be accepted as a WOW (World of Work) fellow. I would recommend interested students pursue the same opportunities and talk to other Brandeis students about their past internships!

Michelle Dennis ’18: Light for Children, Kumasi, Ghana

My name is Michelle Dennis and I am a Biology major entering my senior year. As much as I believe in physical health, I concurrently believe in the sustainability of mental health and the significant role that the arts can play in its maintenance. I was introduced to ballet at the age of four and I have relied on it as a form of expression ever since. Dance has taught me how to express myself when verbal language does not justify my thoughts or emotions in their totality. Dance movement is powerful in its ability to translate ideas into motion, relay stories, transcend audiences and encourage further discussions on thoughts provoked by performances. This summer I wanted to find a way to incorporate dance with a health internship. I also wanted my work to be geared towards youth since I am aspiring to be in the field of pediatrics and am interested to find ways in which I can intertwine my love for dance with youth advocacy.

Light for Children, located in Kumasi, Ghana, is a multifaceted organization that works with many local schools as well as children who are either directly or indirectly affected by HIV/AIDS. This organization supports the kids in the community through library reading programs, immunization awareness programs, health screening clinics and sexual abuse workshops. Light for Children’s mission of satisfying many essential needs of children in the Kumasi area attracted me to apply for an internship with its staff.

I interned with Light for Children for eight weeks. During this time, I had the privilege of teaching introductory ballet to students of five partner schools in the Kumasi area as well as volunteered in a local hospital. Each class that I taught contained between 15-20 students. Many of my students had not known of ballet prior to this summer and it was interesting to watch them develop their own relationship with this art. Initially, the students seemed thrilled to learn ballet because it was a novel dance form. Over the course of the summer, however, it seemed that their excitement matured to specifically dancing and learning ballet technique. I would like to think that there were many transferable skills that were obtained from their brief ballet education, one example being the determination to will their bodies to assume (in many cases) unnatural and uncomfortable positions.

I think many people often appreciate an art for its aesthetics but not for the value that is integrated into learning and even mastering that art form. Although I only spent a very short time with my students, I saw the worth in the experience of learning, even if there was not enough time to master the art form. Aside from the art itself, it is the learning process and commitment that accentuates a person. If there is a gift or art form that you’re passionate about, share it with others.

Emma Hanselman ’18 – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Hoot readers! My name is Emma Hanselman and I am a rising senior studying Art History with minors in French and Francophone studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. On campus, I am a Gallery Guide at the Rose Art Museum, Co-President of the Adagio Dance Company, and Class Coordinator for Hooked on Tap.

This past summer I was fortunate enough to intern at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston as a School Programs Intern in the Education Department. My main responsibility included assisting the manager of School Programs in developing curriculum for the coming academic year. As my supervisor is responsible for training the 135+ Gallery Instructors who offer 20 various touring options to school groups, the summer months are filled with lots of planning and research for the coming year.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see the inner workings of the education department within a large-scale institution and am thrilled that all of my work this summer will allow students to have positive, engaging museum visits in the year to come. My best advice for those interested in arts-related internships is to seek mentors who love what they do within a field that excites you. Additionally, if you have not had a chance to visit the MFA, I could not recommend it more! Plus, Brandeis students receive free admission with their student IDs!

There is visibly an abundance of creative summer internships offered around the world each year. Hopefully, these four distinct experiences can inspire and enlighten other students of the amazing arts-related opportunities out there.

Menu Title