Friday, August 10, 2012

Lyric Opera internship provided great learning experience

Tierney Dickinson ’14 had thought about pursuing a career in arts administration, but she always wondered what the work would be like. This summer, she had the perfect opportunity to find out.

Dickinson interned at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, one of the most popular opera houses in the country. The Donald P. Baiocchi - Lyric Opera internship, which is funded by Amanda Clark Fox ’67 and her husband Matthew Fox, allowed her to participate in the day-to-day operations of an arts organization and see how the efforts of many people fit together.

“My internship was a great introduction to arts administration on the large scale,” Dickinson said.

She applied for the internship through Randolph’s Experiential Learning Center. She didn’t think she would be chosen, but soon after the interview,she was told to make plans for Chicago. “I couldn’t have been more pleased,” she said.

During the 10-week internship, Dickinson helped prepare for two of the Lyric Opera’s biggest fundraisers: Operathon, an all-day radio broadcast, and Fantasy of the Opera, a black-tie gala including a silent auction. She also helped with the administrative tasks of running two of the Opera’s neighborhood chapters and one of the boards in the nonprofit’s regulatory system.

“The people that I worked with were absolutely amazing and extremely supportive,” Dickinson said. “One of my favorite things about the intern program at Lyric was the effort that they put into teaching us how our work affected the big picture of what needed to get done for a successful season.”

Dickinson also joined other interns for weekly meetings with representatives from various departments, who taught them about tasks and responsibilities important in running an arts-centered nonprofit. “It was a great way to learn about how the company ran as a whole and about the different types of people and jobs that go into running a big company,” she said.