Tuesday 28 June 2016

So Liz, what's it like being our trainee..?

[Quick reminder: you'll find the application pack here. I'll leave you to it now...]


Hello everyone!

Thanks for stopping by.  It’s Liz here, current Admin & Production Trainee at Third Angel.

I came to this position last summer fairly fresh from a BA in English Literature and an MSc in Creative and Cultural Industries Management from the University of Sheffield, via a lot of student theatre, a fair whack of filming work, and a job in telesales that I’m leaving very firmly in the past (!).

It’s pretty difficult for me to describe what my job typically looks like day in, day out.  As most people working in small arts organisations would tell you, no two days are the same, certainly no two years are the same, and so the next trainee will likely have a very different but equally valuable experience to the one I’ve had. However, broadly, the responsibilities of the role straddle the 2 areas of administration and production – I guess the clue is in the name of the position really!
On the admin side (and there is a lot of it), I am responsible day-to-day bookkeeping for the company, recording data for Arts Council England reporting such as environmental data and audience figures, collecting and recording audience feedback, minuting meetings and communicating with our Board.  Over on the production side, I usually book all travel, accommodation and generally manage logistics when we’re on the road, fight fires when they crop up, draw up schedules, research and buy props etc, read over and draw up letters of agreement, and lots more.  Every show is different meaning that describing production is tricky, but I can safely say that it certainly isn’t dull, and I can promise you’ll be surprised at the breadth of what you’ll end up doing.

And what I am I taking away from my time here? From deeply practical skills such as bookkeeping, to logistics management, to more intangible things like a better understanding of the theatre ecology of the UK and how theatre works as a business, I will be leaving with a wealth of knowledge which I really don’t think I could or would have accessed any other way.  I’ve also had access to networks and training I’d never have been able to connect with or afford without the organisation’s support and every session, meeting or conference helps in setting me up to move forward successfully. (As a note: Third Angel are currently a resident company based in Sheffield Theatres, and quite how much you pick up about the workings of a large building simply from being within the four walls is really remarkable - another bonus!)

I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity and I really can’t emphasise enough what a fantastic organisation Third Angel is to work for and how much of a professional pleasure the last year or so with them has been. The team are so supportive, truly want you to succeed, grow and develop, and will absolutely do their best to make this position suit who you are and where you want to be. I think that it’s a very real shame that so few organisations offer opportunities like this, so if you’re on the fence about applying, don’t be, you don’t want to miss your chance.

I’m not 100% sure what’s next for me (that’s all part of the adventure, right?!), but I feel prepared, excited and really ready to tackle whatever comes my way.

Happy applying!


Friday 17 June 2016

Come and work with us! Admin & Production Traineeship (paid) open for applications

Wow, that's come around fast. A year ago we were advertising our very first internship and worrying about whether or not there would be enough interest. Over 60 applications and some extremely difficult decisions later, we appointed Liz Johnson to be our guinea pig inaugural Admin & Production Trainee and we think it's gone pretty well; she hasn't run for the hills yet. Liz will be writing a blog post in a few days, to give you a better idea of what a year with us is like.

And now we're doing it all again. We may be older and wiser (well, definitely older) but our motivation for offering this training position remains the same: we want to support those starting out in the industry. It's something we feel pretty strongly about. We all benefit from the next generation getting the chance to learn, to find their thing, to be their best. We remember how hard it is to get started, particularly with the 'can't get a job without experience/get experience without a job' catch 22, unless you have the support to be able to work for free. And a lot of people don't.

So here are the vitals:

It's an 11 month paid post, working primarily with the General Manager (that's me). The job pack and application form can be downloaded here. Closing date is 2pm on Monday 4 July and we hope to be interviewing in the week of the 1st August, with the successful candidate starting with us mid-September.

A couple of things that came out of the process last year, that might be useful:

- We don't set word limits, but please bear in mind that we had over 60 applications in 2015 and at least half of them were very strong. Don't make us hunt for evidence of your brilliance. We appreciate elegant prose, but sometimes bullet points do the job better.

- If you say you have an excellent eye for detail, it's a good idea to use spellcheck at the very least.

- If your experience or ambition is primarily as a performer, maker or artist, you need to a) be really honest with yourself about how you're going to feel being at a desk for a year and b) persuade us that you've really thought about that.

If you have any questions, please give me a call on 0114 201 3876 or email hilary@thirdangel.co.uk. And please do share far and wide. I'm looking forward, again, to seeing what brilliant things you all want to do.

Oh, and before you apply, it might be a good idea to check this earlier blog post, in which I get a bit ranty about sloppy emails. The principles are the same for this process too.