Fuel Internship – Week 3

I may be beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is again going to tell you how much I’m learning and how great a time I am having at Fuel. I can’t thank the team at Fuel enough for everything I’m learning from you and for how welcoming you’re being to me.

Day 7:

On Wednesday I filled in my first complete Arts Council application from start to finish, which was really rewarding. I’d done lots of bits in the two previous weeks, so I had a fair sense of how the portal works, and then for this one I was just given all the content and told to go for it. (I’m hoping by the end of my twelve weeks I may get to do some of the writing before it needs putting into the portal, but we’re talking about quite large sums of money, so for the moment I think it’s much better that I’m learning about how they work and getting to read lots of examples before trying my own hand at it!) I was particularly pleased that when Emilie proofread it, she had next to no comments to make (I needed to add the names and contact details of the partners in the application; Fuel and the people mentioned throughout the application, and to break two lines in the budget into two things). That afternoon I got started on a lot of paperwork from the last few months which needed filing (remember my lovely new filing from last week?) and did a little more sorting out of the filing system. It was astonishingly quite physically tiring work as well as mentally rewarding stuff: those files are heavy and I was climbing up and down on a chair to reach the top shelf! (Disclaimer, I am quite small, so someone taller than me might not have needed to do so much exercise for it.) We finished work about half an hour early and went out for a drink in a local pub, which was really lovely. As I mentioned in my advice on Monday, spending some time talking about theatre with colleagues in a social context is a great way to learn, both about the company you’re working for and about what is going on elsewhere. Because the arts is a small sector, everyone, except me/ perhaps you, because we aren’t there yet, seems to know everyone and so listening to social conversation about theatre/other work related things will inevitably tell you a lot about what is going on in the industry at the moment.

Day 8:

On Thursday the office was quite quiet, as a lot of the staff were on holiday. I had a really good day though, and felt very busy throughout, which is always rewarding. I spent a while scouring through contact details forms and invoices to work out the addresses of a series of people we wanted to send thank you notes to for their contributions to a past project, which was an ongoing task through the day which I did when I wasn’t dealing with things which needed to be sorted more urgently, such as booking trains and hotels for artists coming up to London to do some workshops in relation to a project next week, emailing a few people in relation to said bookings, and collating a list of artists for one project which was spread over a series of documents but needed to be in one place. I started writing the thank you notes at the end of the day, but didn’t have time to finish. I had a really lovely chat over lunch with the women who were working that day (there were four of us, including me) about managing your health at work, which will be the subject of Monday’s post, so stay tuned for that!

Day 9:

My last day this week was Friday, and it was another great day. There was a different selection of people in the office, meaning different sorts of things going on around me to learn from, which is really valuable. I had a longish task to finish from Thursday: hard-wearing 22 thank you notes and addressing as many envelopes (incidentally – if you get a handwritten thank you card from someone, appreciate it more than I have done until now – they take a lot of time to write!) and wrapping the token thank you gifts to go in the envelopes. That took up most of a long morning, and the rest of my day consisted of emails to various people, and continuing to improve the filing system.

You may be noticing that I’m doing a lot of in some ways similar tasks, with a few new things thrown in every day. I’m really appreciating this pattern, as it simultaneously enables me to get better at the things I’ve done once or twice before and to learn new skills without being overwhelmed by a huge number of new tasks I need to learn to understand before I can do them to the best standard. (Obviously, I’m always working to the beat of my ability, but once I’ve done something once or twice, the best of my ability is better than it is the very first time!)

I’d also like to publicly thank my wonderful friend who’s left me his keys for this week and next – I really, really appreciate your help and I couldn’t get all this experience without you, so 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/questions in the comments and follow the blog if you want to hear more and haven’t already done so. Stay tuned for Monday’s advice post, which will be about taking care of your mental and physical health at work, and I’ll see you with my next update about the internship next Friday!

Emily xxx

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