Katie Bowman–Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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Intern at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Spring 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 nonprofit, 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. One highlight of my experience was creating a Kickstarter campaign for the Trust to raise money for Shakespeare’s New Place. bit.ly/kickstartshakespeare

I have three pieces of advice for anyone that follows behind me:

  1. 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 William 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 references 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 about it going in. This being said, everyone fakes it a bit when it comes to Shakespeare, but if I could go back, I would walk in with the ability to fake it a bit better.
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate–So much of my anxiety over the summer would have been resolved with a clear understanding of their expectations and a scheduled meeting with my supervisor, specifically to discuss my progress. I did not pursue these on my own 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.
  3. Work hard–In the end, I know this is why I was successful and why you will also be successful!

The most rewarding aspect of my internship experience 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 really hard, you will be able to see the impact it has on SBT.

The people who run this 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 lifelong friends and I’m so excited that you will get to know them too.”

Applications now being accepted for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Internship for Winter 2018. Read more about it HERE.

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