A look back on the Fringe and Ireland.

A lot has changed in the last couple of weeks. Mainly, I no longer live in Ireland. Which is frikkin weird.

Too make a long story véry, véry short: we wanted to go to Australia, that didn’t work out, so we tried something else, I applied for one job, got it; and moved back to Belgium within a week after that. Mad? Probably. Happy? Yes and no. I’ll do a proper post later with thoughts and observations about my 4 fabulous years in Ireland, but now it’s time for a long overdue look back at my time working on the Fringe festival. Like most of you know, I was doing an internship there, a word that nearly sounds dirty these days with all the improper (ab)use of the government’s JobBridge program. We’ve all seen the ridiculous vacancies being posted for a 9-month pizza making internship, stacking shelfs in Tesco or becoming the next business development intern. At the moment – especially online – there is a big antimovement trying to demonstrate how close some of these internships are closely bordering slavery. For some more details on that, Slaves.ie has all the details.

The reason I feel that I need to write about my internship is to break the cliché surrounding the topic at the moment. I had the most amazing time and learned a heap of things over a very short period. Why was it so good?

  • I was given complete freedom to create my own projects, suggest things and could always fall back on support where needed.
  • I was given full confidence by both my direct bosses and management in general, was always introduced as the press assistant and always treated like any other paid member of staff.
  • This particular position is an extremely crazy, mad, stressing one (future interns beware!). You need some kick-ass time management skills, people skills and to be able to stand your ground, while communicating with about 250 different people over 3 weeks. But, at all times, the chiefs made sure I was looked after, doing okay, checking was I able to take on the workload without giving the feeling they were checking up on me.

On top of that, within those 3 months; I managed to build an extensive network in the Irish arts industry, with both press and performing artists from Ireland and abroad. Not that it’s much good to me now (doh); but, if I had stayed in Ireland I’m very confident that through my experience with the Fringe, I could have started a very exciting career in arts management in Ireland. Mind, I’m saying doh, my new job however, is also a direct result of my internship. I’m now working as a PR assistant for an advertising agency, which as a sector isn’t as exciting as the arts; but it’s early days in Belgium yet. My network here isn’t very extensive yet, social media is a lot less present here, so in this position, I’ll be able to build relations with creative people and press alike, whilst at the same time gaining more and more experience in a communicative role.

In conclusion, for all ye young folks: if you get the chance to intern at Dublin Fringe Festival, take it, without any hesitation. You will learn so much; meet so many amazeballs people and you’ll end up being a totally kick-ass arts professional in no time. If however, you’re not that young anymore, they’re also on the look-out for a new marketing manager; and trust me: they are some pretty big boots to fill! The job description can be found here.

So, I leave Ireland for now, promise to write a wrap up of life on the green isle; but I have to end with this:

 

THANK YOU FOR BEING TOTALLY AWESOME…

The ever so charming and best boss ever: Conleth Teevan

The totally amazeballs marketing whizz kid, with extraordinary humming skils: Tom Lawlor

The woman who keeps it all together, with superb management skills and a loverly little baby on the way: Wendy Dempsey

The most inspiring woman in the arts, passionate curator and a barrell full of wisdom: Róise Goan

The softest, nicest, loviest Lian Bell who I wish all the best in her new endavours.

The Go Intern Team Go folks with who I had such a fabulous time: Aishling, Jan and Eoin.

GAVIN!

And all the other fabulous, engaging, talented, absolutely brilliant folks over in the HQ (too many to name), all the artists that put in their blood and sweat to make the Fringe what it is and everyone else that is involved in one way or another.

You have been great.

 

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