Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Internship (Stratford-upon-Avon, England)–Summer 2016
Interning at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will give you a peek into the unique world of cultural nonprofits. Working at SBT will put you in the proximity of many authority figures in the world of Shakespeare (and it is its own world) but because of the nature of nonprofits you will work with many of them personally. The office is small so you will not only be able to fill many roles but your projects will be substantial and valuable to STB.
For me, the internship was ideal. The organization is significant and the office atmosphere is friendly and supportive. The supportive atmosphere, ultimately, was the most important to me. I felt emboldened to try new things and make significant contributions.
I have three pieces of advice for anyone who follows behind me.
Brush up your Shakespeare–Going into the experience, I thought I knew something about William Shakespeare. Hours into my first day, I found out what it really means to know Shakespeare and I wasn’t even on the spectrum. (I spent the first month pretending to laugh at jokes and then covertly looking up the play reference on my phone). The bedrock of the organization is built on the history of Shakespeare’s life and times and I wish I knew more going in. This being said, everyone fakes it a bit when it comes to Shakespeare, but if I could go back, I’d walk in with the ability to fake it a bit better.
Communicate, communicate, communicate–So much of my anxiety over the Summer would have been resolved with a clear understanding of my supervisors’ expectations, and a scheduled meeting with them to discuss my progress. I did not pursue these because i was chicken, but it would have given me the peace of mind to know where I stood and how I could improve. Always keep your supervisor informed of your work and stay open to correction. You will make mistakes, but the only way to know if they are big or small is to communicate.
Work hard–In the end, I know this was why I was successful, and why you will also be successful!
The most rewarding aspect of my internship was the value of my completed project. Like I said, this organization is not-for-profit and therefore finds real value in an extra set of hands. They will give you real projects, and if you work hard, you will be able to see the impact it has on the SBT.
The people in the organization are wonderful and will become your friends. Be open and Charitable to EVERYONE and people will take notice and want to be around you. That might sound like more of a Sunday School lesson than anything else, but this internship is where I learned the validity of that statement. I’ve made life-long friends and I’m so excited that you will get to know them too.
Learn more about the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust here.
BYU in Stratford Intern Blog