How my theater internship in London helped my career

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Alyssa didn't know what to expect when she began her internship at the Omnibus Theatre in London. Now, she laughs at how nervous she was. The internship has elevated her career and her personal strengths beyond measure. Find out about her Intern in Britain experience with BUNAC, in her own words. 

Starting a new job or internship can always seem scary. As a college graduate, I’ve done it a few times now. I figured the nerves would have subsided, but moving to a new country and settling in London put a whole new twist on the experience. I had finished my BUNAC Intern in Britain application long before my departure, everything was sorted and ready to go. Days before my flight, I started second guessing my decision to come to London.

So, I’m sure you understand my concern when I was due to start at Omnibus Theatre as a Marketing and Graphic Design Intern. I started to worry about the tasks I’d be stuck with. “What if they just have me make tea and file papers?!” My biggest fear was leaving London in December without having professional work to add to my portfolio, especially since I no longer had school to fall back on when I returned home.

The first day of my internship finally came. I walked through the theater doors and heard a music rehearsal faintly coming from upstairs as a cute little cat brushed by my feet. My nerves started to vanish. I met with the Marketing Manager and was shocked when, instead of immediately giving me a list of tasks, she kindly asked what I would like to work on. Although we did agree on basic requirements such as street team involvement and drafting tweets, I could tell her main priority was making sure that I’d be working on projects that would benefit me in the long run. She was interested in not just my professional growth, but my personal growth as well.   From this first interaction, I felt welcome and excited.

As we discussed the marketing strategies for upcoming shows, I shyly mentioned the idea of a stop motion video as a promotion for our children’s show. Expecting the standard “we can take that into consideration” or “well, that wouldn't really be possible” responses I’ve heard so many times at previous internships, I was met with something different. To my surprise, my supervisor was extremely enthusiastic about the potential idea!

Not even five hours into my first day and I was already drawing up a storyboard for a project that I had come up with. My fear vanished and I knew that this would be a worthwhile experience. 

Looking back on this day twelve weeks later while I put together my portfolio, I laugh at the thought that I was ever worried about being here. I have an abundance of graphic design work, including draft progressions of flyers, brochures, and other materials for a variety of shows and programs. I also have a solid amount of event and performance photography - another passion of mine that I was able to explore more during my time at Omnibus Theatre.  It is so satisfying being able to see my work go to print and actually have it be used. My photos appeared on the website as well!

The work environment was a perfect mix between professional and personable; a place that accomplishes what it needs to get done while fostering creative thinking. I mainly worked in the Common Room, which is full of artwork and cute cats that helped make even the most stressful days feel a bit more relaxed. It felt homey - much better than if I were in a cubicle. People chat, work on projects, and collaborate on new ideas together. 

As you can tell, working at Omnibus Theatre has been an incredible experience. I couldn't have asked for a better environment. I never once felt like “just the intern” - I was always a part of the team. They really are the definition of a friendly theater family. Everyone was willing to help out with simple questions involving work or by giving me suggestions on what to do while I was in England or traveling.

As much as I don’t want to leave, every show must come to an end.  I’ll miss having rehearsals as background noise and the daily camaraderie - like our lunchtime debate on the difference between a cookie and a biscuit. Most of all, I will miss seeing everyone’s friendly faces and caring hearts.

I do feel prepared to tackle the job market when I arrive home in America.  This internship has helped me grow not only as a person, but has helped me feel more confident in myself, my marketing skills, and all of my professional abilities.  Thank you to everyone at Omnibus for making my adventure across the pond unforgettable, and thank you to BUNAC for giving me the opportunity. That's a wrap!

Find out how you can apply to start your incredible internship in London like Alyssa on Intern in Britain.

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