Circuit Internship

Wysing & Kettle’s Yard offer a paid internship to young people involved in the Circuit Cambridge programme. The role is open to members of the Circuit group and to participants in our youth sector partnership projects. Here Hannah Kershaw, our first Circuit intern, reflects on her six month internship.

 There is a direct correlation between my involvement with Circuit and a significant increase in my self-esteem, self worth and overall happiness.

Although I want to write about my experience as the Circuit Intern in an evaluative way, I first want to stress how positive an effect the Circuit programme and even more so the internship has had on me. There is a direct correlation between my involvement with Circuit and a significant increase in my self-esteem, self worth and overall happiness. Not only this, but the internship has led directly to me securing a job in the arts. I feel like I was handed an olive branch at a point where I was struggling to get a job in the creative industry and it was hard to maintain a positive outlook. This is the main thing I want people to take away from this contribution.

I joined Circuit when the programme first launched in Cambridge in August 2013 and so the internship, which started in March 2014, was a chance for me to see what goes on behind the scenes in terms of organisation, planning and general admin and to contribute to that.

Hannah Kershaw (at right) with members of Circuit during a weekly meeting.

Hannah Kershaw (at right) with members of Circuit during a weekly meeting.

I’ve done a lot on the internship including: writing blog posts, updating content on Wysing and Kettle’s Yard websites, helping organise Circuit events, communicating with group members, organising logistics and transport, design, contributing towards reports, assisting artists with workshops, and helping run the weekly peer-led sessions, documenting, dealing with enquiries about Circuit, promoting Circuit at events, attending training and Tate meetings, organising trips for the group, and general support to the Programme Manager.

I wondered whether becoming an intern might affect how other Circuit group members felt about me. But if it did, it didn’t really show.

I was surprised by how much there was to do and how much there was to Circuit beyond the group.  We’re quite ambitious with what we want to do with the project, which means there’s always plenty to be getting on with.

Hannah Kershaw and Richard de Cordova, Site & Technical Manager at Wysing, prepare for a Circuit event.

Hannah Kershaw and Richard de Cordova, Site & Technical Manager at Wysing, prepare for a Circuit event.

My role has been a combination of practical hands on tasks as well as office based computer work. I wondered whether becoming an intern might affect how other Circuit group members felt about me. But if it did, it didn’t really show. People still talked to me even though at times I was a little distracted making sure things were set up and running smoothly. At times, I think there was a blur between what I was doing as an intern and what I was doing as a member. Especially at the beginning I worked on projects as a member. Perhaps to an outsider it wasn’t clear that I wasn’t doing this because I was an intern, but rather because I wanted to as a member. Occasionally if the group was quiet in a session I felt like I needed to talk or say something.

Challenges:

  • Adapting to a changing schedule on projects, this meant last minute amends to logistics & plans
  • I could always see the possibility of things I could do but I didn’t always manage in the time I had, working two days a week
  • Working part time meant that five days would pass without any communication between the group and me; I found it difficult to find a way for people to share stuff in between the sessions.

Highlights:

  • Self-esteem and confidence is higher than it was before and I feel competent
  • Getting to know the staff and Circuit members
  • There was clear management and structure for the Programme Manager but I was also allowed freedom to develop my own way of working
  • Included in all the discussions related to the Circuit programme, I felt part of the team
  • Gained a clear understanding of the different job roles within two arts organisations, having conversations with other staff that I wouldn’t have normally had access to
  • I discovered what I’m good at and what job would suit me
  • Working on I am the Warrior with Juneau Projects
  • Being involved with making stuff happen – that doesn’t always happen in internships

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