BA English and History student Gabriela Gurycz reflects on her amazing experiences as an Arts Ambassador and the skills that she has been able to develop.
One of the key experiences I gained from being an Arts Ambassador is a deeper connection with the arts activity at the University and across Southampton and Winchester. There are so many exciting things happening in both cities and it’s been really rewarding to try and bring some of these events, people and organisations a bit closer to the students.
Aside from everything I’ve learnt I had a genuinely wonderful time getting to know the cities’ cultural side, and I have fallen in love with culture even more as a result. I got to take part in some truly wonderful events such as Southampton Celebrates and the opening of John Hansard Gallery’s new city centre home. I’ve been to see concerts and performances and had the chance to meet some of the musicians and performers behind these. It was a really exciting opportunity to get behind-the-scenes and discover what makes these events and performances a success.
It was great to have an enthusiastic team of other student interns from different courses around me who shared an interest in the arts, as we could bounce ideas off each other and attend things together.
I think a lot of the skills I gained have been really important. Advertising cultural events and contributing to social media pages has taught me a lot about an organisation’s online presence and how important it is. I’ve had the chance to have some really interesting conversations with artists and musicians as well as arts professionals which has furthered my interest in working within the arts sector.
Working at public-facing events representing Arts at University of Southampton has been a very valuable experience in terms of having conversations that promote art and culture in Southampton and Winchester. I think this is something that is so important because it’s an experience that makes you bold and unafraid of engaging with the public. I think the internship has really enriched my CV and given me some solid skills and talking points that I can base any job application around beyond my degree.
For anyone considering applying for an Arts Ambassador internship I’d say just go for it! I got the opportunity to attend music and theatre productions, which I subsequently reviewed and shared on the Arts Blog, worked behind the scenes at two launch events at John Hansard Gallery, attended press nights, student degree shows in Southampton and Winchester and was able to meet important figures in the cultural sector including Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England (ACE) Henley and Chair of ACE and former Tate Director, Sir Nick Serota.
If you are considering working in the arts or simply curious about culture in any capacity, this is a great first step in engaging with that world. You’ll end up working on a wide range of things, from conducting interviews or working at large events, through to constructing media posts and content. It was also really refreshing to be doing something different alongside my degree, as the work I did in my internship was often a welcomed break from my academic work.
Overall, I would say my internship was an amazing way to learn new things, meet incredible arts professionals and whilst doing the things I already love doing.
17/18 Arts Ambassadors L to R Ben, Gabi, Doria, Shanelle and Nicole
Arts Ambassadors is a paid opportunity, supported by the Careers and Employability Service’s Excel Southampton Internship programme, University of Southampton.