MA Fashion Marketing and Branding student Doria Wang look back on her time as an Arts Ambassador and considers how the internship has helped her understanding of British culture and helped shape her future too.
The most important experiences I gained from being an Arts Ambassador was getting to understand British society, the arts and cultural activity in this country. Although I live and study in the United Kingdom, I didn’t have much contact with the local scene and only live with an international student circle. So this precious period of the internship give me chance to know this country and its social culture better.
The opening ceremony of Studio 144 (#SouthamptonCelebrates) was one of the most exciting things I have attended. Guildhall Square was filled with people awaiting the launch of the new arts complex, and after a community dance show and fireworks, everyone rushed into the new venues of the John Hansard Gallery, City Eye and Nuffield Southampton Theatres. It was fantastic to gain an insight into how these large -scale events come together, and I was heavily involved in communicating this via social media. Besides this, as a Chinese student, English is my second language. Being an Art Ambassadors gave me the chance to write professionally in English, composing blogs and social media content too.
I have nearly finished my studies in the UK and will go back to China to work. In China, many companies are paying intention to internships, especially students who study abroad. If students have experience of overseas internship or work experience, it will increase their career prospects.
Social media marketing has been a hot topic for years and is now a crucial part of working life. The experience of practicing on social media platforms has helped me better understanding Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which are not widespread in China. It can be seen as a competitive advantage when I apply for jobs in foreign companies in China.
I would say to any student considering applying to be an Arts Ambassadors that it totally worth applying for! You can gain special experience and insight into the arts, and also meet other students who have same interest but come from a totally different mixture of courses. I really enjoyed working as a team when we attended public-facing events together. Also, it was a fantastic opportunity to discover more about different art forms and meet arts professionals that work within the venues.
My role as an Arts Ambassadors has given me a chance to get really touch with arts in the UK. I visited galleries and theatres in UK and gained an insight into how they operated. After joining the team, I had the opportunity chance to go backstage at the Mayflower Theatre and interview the Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ockwell which helped me understand more about managing and running a theatre. I have appreciated Louise and Jamie’s help and support. I now feel more confident to talk to new people and write my opinions effectively. It has been a precious experience and a memory I will never forget.
Arts Ambassadors is a paid opportunity, supported by the Careers and Employability Service’s Excel Southampton Internship programme, University of Southampton.
(Cover photo: Doria with violinist Ning Feng (right) and his pianist Thomas (left) after their show at Qingdao Grand Theatre.)