As you read this, I’m all but one hour short of the end of my third week at Fuel (when did that happen?) and this is my thoughts about my second week. As last week, the biggest sentiment going through this post is going to be how amazing this company is, and how much I’m learning. I’m being pushed to do more and learn more, and I couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative.
As I mentioned last week, I’m working 3 days a week, 10-6. My first day of this week was Wednesday 27th July, and it was a tiring day, through my own fault, but a really rewarding one. I spent the morning working through Fuel’s marketing records of ticket sales for last tax year, and filled in gaps, where box office records hadn’t been copied across. This involved contacting theatres whose details were missing (by email or phone) and asking them to send me the relevant box office reports. Then I didn’t really have a lunch break, which was my mistake in making my day more exhausting than necessary. It was raining, and I didn’t really fancy sitting outside, so I just ate my lunch at my desk, but once I’d spent 10 minutes eating I didn’t have anything much to do, so I just got back to work. I would not advise this as a regular idea – I was shattered by the time I got home. In the afternoon I entered a few more bits of data into marketing spreadsheets, and then I started reorganising their filing system. I include a piece of advice given to me by Emilie, Fuel’s Head of Programme, here: “the sign of a good producer is that they have a good filing system”. Heed it well.
Thursday was spent mostly continuing with reorganising the filing system (for context, there is a while wall of shelves of files), which was very satisfying in a getting something visibly done. Both the Executive director and the Head of Production walked into the meeting room where the files are kept later that afternoon and mentioned how satisfying it was to be surrounded by better organised shelves, which was gratifying. (They were probably deliberately being kind, but it was gratifying nonetheless.) I did remember to take a lunch break on Thursday and go and wander around Somerset House (where Fuel’s office is) courtyard, to get some fresh air and space. In the afternoon I did a little more filing, and then did some research for potential set options for a future project. (I signed an agreement with an embargo on my telling anyone about non-announced projects, so obviously I won’t be publishing any more about it online, but I would recommend checking out Fuel’s website in the next few years, both for this project and other future projects, because they sound amazing.)
Friday was another incredibly rewarding day, of which the most rewarding was a long chat with Stuart, the head of production, in which he gave me some advice, based on my research the previous day. I hope you find it as valuable as I did/do. He suggested that what I had found was the very basic things which needed to be found which existed on the internet, and that I’d neatly collated them into one document, and that was all well and good. However, a lot of useful information simply wasn’t available on the internet, as I had sort of felt the previous day. He suggested that the next step was to call the companies who might provide what we were interested in and have a chat. More than getting the information which wasn’t available online, which would be easier this way, this would also be the best way to get discounts because “you make friends with Maureen on the other end of the phone and suddenly it’s a whole different ball game”. As he pointed out, you can get discounts, you can have cleared information than the very general stuff available online and, his main point, if you speak to an expert you gain confidence in your own knowledge, and “you go from intern to expert”. Speaking to people who know what they’re talking about gives you confidence when relaying that information, and, as Stuart told me, that is crucial for your professional development. I mentioned last week that speaking to strangers on the phone makes me nervous, but I really appreciated the wisdom of the advice Stuart gave me, so I am now pushing myself to do it fearlessly, because it does get things done much more quickly.
I would like to thank the truly lovely family who hosted me in South London for the first two weeks of my internship again; as I said to you, I couldn’t be more grateful for all your kindness, food and lifts to the station. Thank you.
That’s all for this week, thanks as always for reading. Feel free to like this post if you enjoyed it, let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments, and follow the blog if you want to hear more. Stay tuned for Monday’s post, which will be a short one about organising the practicalities of an internship and I’ll see you on Friday for what I’ve been up to this week!