Each year at The Marlowe we take on three trainees in Arts Marketing, Arts Management and Technical Management. These are full-time paid positions where you become fully integrated in the teams – learning on the job and taking on your own responsibilities over the year.
Our current trainees are coming towards the end of their contracts, and our colleague Nadia, Arts Marketing Trainee, is leaving in just two weeks time. We’re so sad to see her go but also thrilled for her to be taking up the position of Marketing Assistant at Soho Theatre. She takes us through her experiences as a trainee ahead of saying her goodbyes…
How do you distil 10 months of your life into just a few hundred words? It’s impossible, no? Well I’ll do my best for you.
Let’s start at the beginning. When I got the call to say that I had got the job of Arts Marketing Trainee at The Marlowe I was nothing less than thrilled. It was exactly what I wanted to do and I knew it would give me that elusive one year’s experience needed to secure a permanent job in theatre administration, which is what I had been trying to achieve since graduating, without much success.
What I didn’t know was it would give me was the confidence and skills to plan and execute my own marketing campaigns, the chance to be a valued member of a dynamic and hard-working team, and some of the best laughs of my life.
I know that at the end of an experience it’s easy to see everything with rose-tinted glasses – to say that everything has been amazing and that it’s hard to pick a stand-out moment so I will try to be realistic.
There have been days where my stress levels have been higher than I would have liked, times where I have disagreed with colleagues and moments where I have wanted to go out to the yard and dance my frustration out, but there has never been a day where I have not wanted to come to work, not even when it’s been a 4.30am start or a Sunday.
I have learnt about marketing different genres of shows, different marketing techniques – both traditional (posters around town) and modern (harnessing the power of social media), the importance of brand, press relations, planning and executing external events, how to lift many, many boxes, how to drive a van (!), how to work in a team and across departments, how to be flexible in the way that I work and how to get the job done.
The traineeship is brilliant because it gives you the chance to work alongside professionals and be part of a functioning theatre for a whole year; you can experience the successes and failures with your team – you can actually get to know your team properly!
This isn’t an internship, or at least not in the way that we have come to understand internships, as one, three or six month unpaid stints where you hope against hope for a job at the end. This is a paid position, where you are given basic tasks at the beginning but build up to running your own projects.
On my first day I was tasked with creating an inventory of all the print in the building. Now, I manage all incoming print and its distribution across the region, I send all the emails to our 30,000 strong database, I’ve managed two show campaigns, I’ve run external events, I’ve been the monster at Canterbury Children’s Festival (if you met Big Blue, that was me) and the back end of the pantomime cow!
Each week I have learnt something different about myself and theatre marketing. I’ve been allowed to make mistakes and see how to rectify them. I can honestly say that I have laughed every day – even the bad ones. The Marlowe Theatre is one of the largest and best regional theatres in the country, where better to learn about theatre marketing?
I know that the scheme works because I am moving on to be Marketing Assistant at Soho Theatre in London. Not only do I have that elusive one year’s experience, I have new skills, great memories and fantastic colleagues and friends.
So apply, you know you want to.
Applications for our Arts Marketing, Arts Management and Technical Management traineeships close on Tuesday 22 July. Click here for more information on these positions.