Summer internships are considered essential for finding a job for after graduation, but the application process can be a daunting one.
I want to work in theatre management after graduation, so I decided to pursue a theatre internship for this summer. I started my application process by meeting with Diane Claussen, the professor who taught my theatre management class this past fall. She talked me through different fields in theatre management, explained possible career tracks, and we discussed the differences in working in profit vs. not-for-profit theatre companies. After we started to work out what areas of theatre management I might want to work in, Diane suggested a list of companies for me to reach out to.
Around the same time as this meeting, Diane also facilitated a discussion between a Northwestern alumnus and producer in NYC, Tom Casserly, and a group of undergraduate students who are interested in producing and management in New York, myself included. Tom Casserly and I talked after the meeting and exchanged a few emails, wherein he suggested I reach out to the company where he first started, 321 Theatrical Management.
Over the course of the following weeks, I reached out to several theatre companies. I was going to NYC for the first few days of my winter break, and Diane had suggested that I try to set up some informational interviews for while I was there, since I might not be in New York again before applications would be due for the summer. I ended up going to interviews with two companies, one of which was 321.
When I returned from winter break, I finalized the list of companies I wanted to work with, and created cover letters and a professional resume. Diane went over each of these with me and taught me how to tailor my cover letters for different positions. She also wrote me letters of recommendation for the companies that asked for them, and was listed as a reference on my resume. During this time, I also met with Northwestern’s Career Advancement office and did a practice interview with my career advisor.
Throughout the process of applying to other theatre companies in both Chicago and New York, I kept in touch with 321, and they asked me a few additional questions. Last week, 321 Theatrical Management officially offered me a summer internship, and after a final meeting with Diane that mostly involved me freaking out, I accepted.
I also applied for and received a grant through The Office of External Programs, Internships, & Career Services (EPICS) and the School of Communication, which will cover my housing and transportation costs for the summer!
While the internship process can be daunting, competitive, and time-consuming, I can’t express how grateful I am to have professors who care about me as an individual student. Diane was by my side through my entire application process with me, to such an extent that I now feel confident when presenting myself professionally.