Jinhwa Choi: My Internship at the Belgrade

Posted on 12 June 2017

My name is Jinhwa Choi, and I am an MA student studying International Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Warwick.

Within my course, we study Cultural Theory and International Cultural Policy to explore theoretical ideas about culture and cultural policy issues. In addition to the academic backgrounds, we have the option to do a placement as a part of one of our modules, Placement and Case Study, to gain practical experience in cultural policy and management within a cultural organisation. It is considered as a good opportunity for students to apply their theoretical ideas in practice and discover which fields they want to work for in the future.

When I decided to do the placement, I was interested in audience development and marketing strategies of the theatre, as I think it is significant to enhance the engagement level of arts and culture for not only the capital’s residents but also the local communities. Before I began looking for a placement, I had a chance to write an assignment about the Belgrade’s contribution to the local communities. Since then, I was impressed by the Belgrade’s economic, social and educational influences. Hence, their efforts for the local community and my interests in their work were what led me to choose a placement at the Belgrade.

I mostly worked for the Belgrade’s Communications Team to research the student group of Coventry. In recent years, the number of international students coming to Coventry has increased so the necessity to work on engaging students in the theatre’s activity became an important issue. Thus, I created and distributed a survey to deeper understand the student population. After the survey period, I analysed the results and wrote a report. As a result of the survey, I figured out the characteristics of the student group and their attitude to the arts and theatre. I also managed to reach the students who could be the potential ambassadors for the Belgrade, having strong networks on digital and social channels in the local area. Moreover, I supported the Senior Youth Theatre once a week which was a great opportunity to experience such a brilliant producing process.

During the placement, I enjoyed participating in the Communications team meeting once a week. The meeting was helpful in understanding the overall work the Communications team does and enabled me to interact with the team about my work too. I felt that I was part of the team and each team member supported my work. In contrast, waiting for emails or messages from survey requests, or the increase of the number of survey participants was the hardest thing. The lack of replies sometimes made my experience less enjoyable.

At times I faced challenges, but I learnt many things from the placement. The most important thing I discovered was a team working to achieve the desired outcomes. The working environment I worked in was very friendly and cooperative to increase the interest of works and efficiency. It made me work harder and enjoy the work I was undertaking. In the future, if I work for the other companies, I would be involved and communicate with teammates as I experienced at the Belgrade. The six-week placement went very fast, but it will stay with me as interesting work experience forever.