It has been almost four months since the beginning of my placement in Salford Arts Theatre, Manchester. Although the job is full of challenges for an international student like me, taking the placement course is one of the best decisions I have ever made during my postgraduate study in Manchester.
Salford Arts Theatre is the only independent, self-funded theatre in Salford, aiming to make theatre service accessible to the local community. The title of my placement role is Marketing and Engagement Officer. I decided to apply for this position firstly because I was interested in theatre business and wanted to know more about the operation of such organizations; and meanwhile, the job itself is closely linked with my major, which is arts management, so I was in hoping that I could apply the knowledge I have learned into real practice.
Honestly speaking, I was quite nervous on the first day of my placement in January 2016. As it was only my third month in Manchester, and in UK actually, I felt under pressure to travel alone for more than half an hour to go to a place I totally had no idea of. Worse, I arrived an hour early and was saw by Roni, my manager and supervisor, when I was wandering around the area. Yet I was lucky, because Roni warmly invited me in, and introduced me to her partner Scott, both of them are very nice. We spent one hour detailing the placement objectives together and they showed me around the theatre which was under redecoration then. I liked the place almost at the first sight and was looking forward to my future experience there.
My main job includes: collecting contact information for marketing; questionnaire design; preparing materials for drama workshops; and collecting information for fundraising. Due to travel inconvenience, Roni and I agreed that I could work from home and we only meet when necessary, which is more practical and efficient. As I have no former experience of working in this area, I am glad that my ideas could be serious considered and appreciated. The placement offers a great chance to get to know about a career you interest in and in the meanwhile, get some hands on experience. It is also a good chance to learn how to deal with people, how to negotiate, and also to learn about different working styles, which is especially precious for overseas students. If you are brave and ambitious to start your career, ICP is certainly an ideal choice for you.