Q&A with a Kennedy Center Development Intern
Name: Tiffany Jordan
College/major: I graduated from Stevenson University and majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
Intern placement: Friends Intern
How I landed the internship: Prior to this, I interned at a small performing arts organization, a dance studio. I did administrative work there too over the summer. I also did a lot of volunteering with my dance group at church. I’ve been there going on 9 years, helping with choreography and helping with the students, so a lot of volunteer work.
Typical day: Each day is different. I’m normally at my desk, but when I have different tasks to complete like delivering daily sheets, there can be a lot of moving around throughout the day. And a lot of the time I do design work, like creating flyers and assisting with banners. On Fridays we have to stock up the visitors center and tour desk with all of the brochures and books.
What I didn’t know when I started: It’s funny — at first I really didn’t know what I would be doing, and the most surprising thing was that it was the perfect fit for me. I get some of the administrative side, some of the behind-the-scenes and event sides, and then even marketing, graphic design, and more. I really get a little bit of everything.
Skills gained: I gained a lot of skills using Tessitura — I didn’t know that software at all when I first started. I also worked a lot with Excel and Adobe InDesign, also a program I didn’t know much about. I also think my interpersonal communication has gotten a lot better. One of my earlier projects was training the tour guides on using the iPads, which meant training 75–80 different people — twice, actually, because the software changed — so really learning how teach people!
What I’ve learned about the “real world”: I’ve learned that even though this internship is with an arts organization, there’s a lot of day-to-day things that must get done in order for the business to run.
Favorite project: I think it would be training the tour guides. I don’t have an iPad at home, and the software was designed by the Kennedy Center. So I had to come in and learn everything myself. Then we created an instruction manual, taught the Friends volunteers how to use the software, and received feedback and tweaked it. I’ve enjoyed seeing their success at using the programs, because a lot of the Friends were apprehensive at using an iPad before, too.
If I could do anything differently: I think I would attend more look-ins, after-hours events, and shows.
Advice for future interns: Participate as much as you can in all of the classes and activities that you can, especially the look-ins. We learned that although some people’s paths were different, they were exactly where they wanted to be, even if they didn’t know about the Kennedy Center and all of its different departments. So many people say that it’s the perfect fit for them.
What’s next: I actually have another internship lined up for summer. And then I’m going to continue finding positions within the arts, like dance studios — something within arts administration.
Looking for an internship to help explore a career in the arts? Check out the Kennedy Center’s internship opportunities and apply to join the talented ranks of our #KenCenInterns!