The internship here at Lewisham Live has been an extremely valuable experience for me to build up all sorts of skills and get a proper insight into how the festival is run. One thing in particular I found really valuable was the chance to work within the knowledgeable LEAN office and be surrounded by supportive colleagues who put in generous amount of time to help me not only achieve my internship goals but also support me further afield in my next steps out into the wide world of work. The responsibilities I had as the intern were varied and challenging and have allowed me to develop so many skills, I can take forward with me into my next role.
As a volunteer at last years festival I was excited at the prospect of acting as the volunteers coordinator this year and building up an ambassador’s programme. It was eye-opening to see how hard it can be to recruit volunteers! After some intense marketing across the borough and attending a volunteer’s fair all out ambassador came from Goldsmiths University. This wasn’t super surprising as students are a lot more flexible with their time, and as Goldsmiths does a huge number of creative courses the students there probably have a little bit more to gain from the experience. We had 12 volunteers in the end and at least 1 at every event which I was proud of. They were all great, and I enjoyed the chance to work with them, so thanks!
Having said that, there were a lot of events, 18 in total and I attended 9 of these. Being on sight was interesting, it allowed me to do some social media for the events and assist with the audience feedback collection which was one of the main roles for our volunteers. There were events that I have additional tasks at such as being stagehands, or organising school groups which was a bonus.
Another thing which came out of the Internship was being able to observe the collaboration between partners and how it very much came with both pros and cons. The projects teams at some of the partner organisations, as I understand were new in their job roles which made for additional work, however after attended a partners round up meeting last week I can see how beneficial it is to have new partners and member of staff working on the projects as it really created a breath of fresh air and it was important to hear new perspectives. I look forward to seeing how the partnership grows and develops in the future and what amazing events will come out of the collaborative working groups.
Although I have loved being hands-on working on-sight and with the volunteer one skill I have developed it my administration skills. I know admin can deathly boring but evaluating the feedback and inputting the data into spreadsheets allowed me to see the reach the festival had, and how truly valued the festival is. Admin is so important, and I have been key to develop my skills for ages, and although I still have a fair way to go to become a master of EXCEL, I can happily say I’m now at least on the right path!
On reflection after the festival there are things I would have liked to contribute more too. Although I did a huge amount of social media, it was shared between myself and Nat the festival coordinator. I focused my energies primarily on building up the Instagram account, but in hindsight I should have also taken the responsibility of Twitter also. I enjoyed writing the blog posts also but can’t help but wish I had extra time to do them. However, it has been useful to use my time management skills to forward plan the posts and if I was to re-do this Internship, I would have ensured I wrote a marketing plan before the festival began and at least tried to stick to it! There isn’t must else I wish I had achieved during my time at the Lewisham Live, only that I wish it could have been longer.
I would recommend this to anyone who is generally interested in arts management or in how creative organisations work. Lewisham is an interesting and creative Borough and Lewisham Live is an amazing festival which showcases that. I can’t thank everyone at LEAN enough for letting me be a part of it!