I had an internship at the Plimoth Plantation, starting in early June until late August in the development department. I mainly worked with the event coordinator, but I also worked with others around the office to learn a multitude of tasks. We worked on one major project which was the annual summer gala which featured artisans from the Plimoth Plantation. The funding gained from this gala went towards the restoration and expansion of our craft house. We also worked on two smaller lunch-and-learn events.
I gained not only the work experience, but I also learned the importance of making connections. No matter what profession I planned on going into, I needed to be able to interact and make connections with those around me. The museum relies on donations and sponsors, which involved a lot of interaction between those that could fund us. When I wasn’t working on our gala event, I worked with other people within the development department to learn how non-profit organizations function, from getting money, to then using it. My boss and coworkers were very supportive of helping me grow and develop while at this internship. I think the fact that I worked with so many different people within the office made this internship that much more valuable because it taught me multiple marketable skills that I would need. They walked me through the manual filing system; as well as gave me experience with setting up excel files to be used for our members.
Much of the training I received also happened on the spot. During the return of the Mayflower II, I was given direction, advice and tips from people outside of the development department, as well as those we worked with on the side. This hands-on experience for events is what I benefited from most since I plan to go into an event planning field upon graduation. During our Many Hands Gala, I also received on-the-spot training. I helped with the centerpieces and design of the main dining hall and had input as to how it should be set up. I was able to meet all of our outside vendors who helped with the setup, lighting and sound for our event as well. Not only did I get to help have a say in this event through research of vendors and guests, I also got to see it through to the end of the night.
This internship challenged me to work in groups as well as independently. The main challenge was coming up with back up plans and keeping up with contacts for the event. I am able to bring back these skills I have gained to create enjoyable events at Bridgewater State University as well. With a better understanding of how the event planning process works and how interactions effect outcomes, I will be able to create educational and enjoyable events on campus.