As I was approaching the end of my junior year at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, I grew anxious about my lack of experience in a professional work setting. I was accepted into an internship program at a recording studio, but it was hours away from my home in Princeton, and it just wouldn’t work. My mom suggested I contact the Arts Council of Princeton – after all, I did have a history there.
I interviewed for the position the same week I came home for the summer. I was so surprised to see how much the Arts Council of Princeton had changed. I hadn’t stepped foot in the building since they renovated in 2008, and it was so refreshing to see how the old was incorporated with the new. Walking through the halls towards the office, I once again felt like that timid, artsy girl who used to run around these halls like all the summer campers here now. I relived making mermaid tails with Maria Evans, Artistic Director here at the ACP, and performing adorable plays for my parents and neighbors.
My very first week on the job, I worked under the Arts Council’s Executive Director, Taneshia, which was really inspiring. My first assignment was a benchmark study on a Young Advisory Group and a Junior Board for the Arts Council of Princeton. To get such an exciting project like this on my first day felt amazing. That first week, I learned a lot about Taneshia. I learned that she was new to the Arts Council, yet every big idea she had was backed up by the staff with effective steps to reaching them. Every day, I watched amazing, successful people enter her office and each one of them would leave energized and inspired. To this day, I am especially grateful for that first week because it motivated me to believe in myself, not only in this job setting, but in other aspects of my life as well.
The following week, my job as an intern kicked up into full gear. I finally met Melissa, Program Coordinator, after hearing so much about her from everyone. I never thought this funny, hard-working stress ball would become my favorite person in the office! I would always consult Melissa first; asking her to check my assignments, my language in emails, and basically everything else before moving forward. She showed me the ropes without withholding any information. My favorite part about this role was attending exhibition openings, public art receptions, concerts, workshops and so many more events as Melissa’s right-hand man. At first, I stayed in the background to observe and learn how to work these ACP events. Soon after, I adopted the professional Nikon camera as my own to capture photo and video, helped run the Summer Courtyard Concerts, organized ACP information tables, and many more tasks that I wouldn’t have learned without Melissa.
Through Ellen, the ACP’s Marketing Consultant, I learned so much about the marketing field. I learned how to use programs like MailChimp to send weekly e-blasts, WordPress to edit the website, and Basecamp to communicate with the team on upcoming ACP events. I learned how to use social media for promotion, the proper formatting for press releases, the essential information that is required for every publication, the importance of word order and word usage – the list goes on! She pushed me to my fullest potential by encouraging accuracy and completeness in everything I worked on, which strengthened my work ethic. One of the first things she told me in my interview was my resume needed more “punch” and that she wanted to help me improve it by giving me plenty of opportunities to learn and grow this summer. Her honesty and diligence always had my best interest at heart, and for that, I am so appreciative.
My internship experience with the Arts Council of Princeton this summer is beyond my expectations. At Dickinson College, I am an English and a Performance Studies double major, so my dream after college is to make an impact on the world and on individuals through the art I create. With the Arts Council of Princeton’s mission statement of building community through the arts, I am so honored to start to have been able to apply my dreams here.
Chelsea Mia Pierre
2017 Summer Marketing Intern