It’s a strange moment when you realize you’ve fulfilled your requirements, spent the allotted time, and then realize that that time is up. The Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship is very specific in its timeline- the intern works for ten weeks and then is finished. It can feel quite abrupt if the nature of your job always sent you from ongoing project to project- and the eventual initiative you were assisting with is still ongoing and won’t happen until September and October. There is so much that is accomplished in those ten weeks! It is astounding to reflect on who I was as an intern when I walked in the door versus the last day. The last day and the first day. The time passed so quickly, and I never got to sit still. If you’re wondering how I felt transitioning it would be a mystery. I took online classes this summer and it felt like I had no down time whatsoever to process-just do (my last final coincided with the day before my last day as an intern). At the Arts Council for Long Beach excitement never ends because there is a constant stream of projects and meetings- leaving little time for reflection. But, although I have no emotions tracked and reflected I am quite content. Because there is plenty to say about what I learned and accomplished.
I learned how to balance keeping in contact with 25 artists and curatorial partners of all varying needs and personalities. I learned the ins and outs of social media and blog posts from the perspective of an institution versus the individual. I had the privilege of watching the Collaborative once a week and experiencing docent work where I could explain exhibits to passersby who wandered in the space. I was included in the grant panel facilitating experience and saw the true arch of the process- as well as all the categories when I read each application and attended the panels that selected those to be funded. I even had the simple experience of learning how to better communicate over the phone, email, as well as in person as a representative of the Arts Council for Long Beach. Though I had a wonderful internship before as a curator for Arts and Services for Disabled, Inc. and had been the director of a gallery space on campus at Loyola Marymount University, this was my first time experiencing such a variety of responsibilities and projects simultaneously (and it is part of the reason I felt it was hard to process when the internship was over- because the projects did not complete with that time).
In light of this feeling of incompletion I am lucky however, the Arts Council for Long Beach liked my work enough- and felt that there was still help needed up to the completion of the A LOT initiative- and have chosen to keep me on staff part-time as the Marketing and Community Outreach Assistant! As a young arts professional, this is a wonderful opportunity as I will be continuing my job search while finishing out a project I’ve come to care about deeply. I’m so grateful for all the mentoring that Shay Thornton Kulha has given me- whether its resumes, Linkedin, job searching, or mock interviews she’s always given me time and guidance. I’m looking forward to continuing forward in my position and can’t wait to see A LOT realized (as well as eventually find a full-time position). The next intern should realize how incredibly lucky they are- and take advantage of all the unique opportunities of working with an institution such as the Arts Council as well as the genuine and invested employees that will be supervising them.