With one season of Woodfordia’s formal internship programme complete, it’s hard to say who learned more from the experience, the interns or the staff. Suffice to say, it was a successful experience for everyone involved, so much so that staff are committed to round two of the internship programme for the early part of 2019.
In round one, eleven interns were welcomed into the office – three from overseas (two from Brazil and one from Italy), one from South Australia, and the rest from the southeast Queensland region. The interns gained hands-on experience in media, film and photography, social media, commercial activities, front of house/ticketing, programming and touring, science communications and volunteer management.
The intention was to provide a fully immersive experience, with the interns living on site in accommodations provided by Woodfordia, and working alongside staff daily. With the Woodfordia office being 6km outside the town of Woodford and an hour’s drive from the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, the accommodations provided were much appreciated to reduce the need to commute for many of them.
The programme ended up being a mixture of full immersion and some who came for just two or three days per week, as they had jobs and other commitments in the “real world” that made five days a week not possible. Although it didn’t fully play out according to plan, the flexibility offered to the interns still meant they were able to achieve their learning objectives, gaining industry experience whilst still being able to pay their bills.
Feedback from the interns was excellent. Many said they learned more than they had ever anticipated. The community that formed among the interns, especially those that came and lived on site, made the experience even more worthwhile for them. Working, cooking and living together really fostered the social aspect that is so often missing from these types of programmes.
The current incarnation of the internship programme is offering three, six and 12-month internships in the following areas: media; film and audio; social media; digital publication; commercial activities; associate producer in touring; arts production; volunteer management; front of house; conservation science/engagement; and PR.
Staff are getting creative as well, discussing possibilities of dual internships. The idea being that interns, hungry for a wide range of experience, may find greater benefit in the programme by having the chance to work in more than one area of the organisation. Offering dual internships to broaden the scope of learning is one of the innovations made in the programme.
“We’re still aiming for a structured programme of learning to ensure interns reach their professional goals, while also realising that having a bit of flexibility both around the amount of days per week an intern can commit to, as well as their desired scope of learning will result in a much richer experience for the intern,” says Internship Programme Coordinator Karen McBride.
“Another realisation is that the earlier part of the year is focused on long-range planning, while the latter part of the year is more about delivery of those plans. There is much to learn in both aspects of the annual cycle of the organization, which is why we’ve decided to offer short, medium and long-term internships,” says Karen.
Applications are now open, so if you or someone you know is looking to gain experience in the event management industry, please apply here.
This article has been shared courtesy of Lore Society, a publication available to Woodfordian Citizens in print and digital format. To access more articles like this, you can sign up to become a citizen here.
Lore Society is the quarterly journal of Woodfordia Inc., a not-for-profit Incorporated Association that produces the Woodford Folk Festival, The Planting, Festival of Small Halls and Woodfordia’s Artisan Camp at Woodfordia, Queensland, Australia.