Constance Harris ’13|
Internship Site: Movement Research - New York, NY
I learned about my internship from my dance professor, Dawn Springer. I immediately thought it was the right fit and started to organize my resume and cover letter. This happened to be one of the easiest cover letters I have ever written because I was so excited at the prospect of having the opportunity to work at a place that combines two of my passions together, dance and research. Once I sent it in, it took a while for them to contact me back. They noted on their website that since they work with a small staff, applicants should not be alarmed if they do not hear back immediately. So I gave it about a month or so and then sent an e-mail reemphasizing my desire to work with their organization. About a day afterwards, I was contacted to schedule a phone interview with their Marketing Manager/Intern Coordinator. Before and during the interview, I reminded myself to keep calm and simply be honest and upfront about my enthusiasm about dance and research and made sure to highlight all of the things I have done at Dickinson that has related to those fields.
About a month passed before I heard from the organization again, so I consulted the Career Center of what I should do, since the deadline to apply for the last round of the Career Center Grant was fast approaching. I was advised to give them a call as opposed to e-mail. When I called, I found out that the Intern Coordinator thought she had sent me my decision e-mail. Fortunately, I received an e-mail later that day saying that I did receive the position. Once I got the notification, I immediately began to work on my application for the Career Center’s Summer Internship Grant.
I found that taking the opportunity to simply strike up a conversation with people I felt I could learn something valuable from the most challenging. It is fairly intimidating talking to established artists, but I learned that they are frequently willing to lend insight and guidance as long as you make it known that you are looking for it.
I met many different artists, interns, and classmates that were helpful to me during my internship experience. I frequently got to meet and get to know different people while I was working outside office. One important thing I learned from them is that if one is looking for performance opportunities, it is helpful to create a network of friends within the city who have similar choreographic interests/dance styles to you. This could be useful with performance collaboration projects or simply by leading each other to different organizations that may be requesting performer/performances.
Tips from Constance:
In conjunction with using Career Center resources, use your favorite professors as resources. They have extensive professional networks and can frequently direct you to experiences that will help you gain more experience in your desired career aspirations.
Go for what you want. I know that in the past I have held myself back from doing extensive research into internships that I truly wanted because they were unpaid. I loved being able to say to those who asked about my internship that it was the perfect match for me and list all of the exciting projects I worked on, free classes I participated in, and events I attended even though I was not being paid. By the end of your dream internship experience, you will most likely, if not definitely, attain skills that will carry you on to your next professional endeavor and more importantly build on your ever-expanding career network, which is equally as valuable as having guaranteed pay.
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.