I am an intern for Michigan Theater for the summer and I am having a wonderful time! I work specifically in the development department that handles all donations and contributed income. As a performing arts management minor, this internship is the perfect fit!
Not only do I get to work in my desired career field, but I also have the opportunity to get a up close and personal look at how fundraising and development impacts the organization and its programming.
Michigan Theater is located right here in Ann Arbor on E Liberty St. It is a nonprofit arts organization that presents music, events, most of all independent films and documentaries. Prior to Michigan Theater, I knew little to nothing about the film industry. As a music major, film as an art form is something that I was not exposed to. Before starting my internship, this worried me. I felt insecure about working at an organization that I was very unfamiliar with. I expressed my concern to one of my teachers and she gave me some of the greatest advice. She told me to enter my internship experience with a “Beginner’s Mind”. I had never heard of this before. A beginner’s mind is a mindset that one takes on. In this mindset, an individual understands and accepts the fact that they do not know everything. They approach new concepts open minded and are eager to learn.
I want to be successful at my internship. Even though I had a lack of confidence at first, adapting the “beginner’s mindset” eased my anxiety and made my transition into a new workplace smoother. I have just completed week 7 of my internship. Things are going great! I have learned so much about Michigan Theater, arts nonprofits and film in general. I am currently working on two projects – one focused on membership retention and the other on diversity among patrons. By working on both of these projects I know I am gaining skills that will be applicable to my future endeavors. I can feel and see the development of my myself from day 1 to now. A beginner’s mind gave me the confidence and focus I needed to be successful at my internship, just what I wanted. Knowing this, I can now apply this mindset to any new chapter in my life, creating a smooth transition and expecting success.