Internships: Arts and Humanities Nonprofit
Intern: Brent Weaver, Senior, English
Workplace Supervisor: aha! Manhattan
Faculty Supervisor: Deborah Murray, Instructor, English
Course: ENGL 495 English Internship (External)
Semester: Spring 2014
Brent completed an internship in Spring 2014 with the local nonprofit organization, aha! Manhattan, or the Arts & Humanities Association of Manhattan. As part of his internship, Brent created a promotional video to talk about why arts and humanities are important for the community so as to lobby for legislative actions that support the arts and humanities. To do so, Brent interviewed local business owners, university professors and students, and various people in the community to capture those moments when they realized how and why arts and humanities matter to them. Brent also synthesized data about how often the many local arts and humanities groups were bringing in people from the community. In addition, Brent attended aha! Manhattan meetings and helped working on their website.
Brent appreciates this opportunity to go out of his comfort zone and talk with a diverse group of people from different organizations with different backgrounds and personalities. He believes this experience tremendously improved his communication skills. Brent also learned a great deal about how to make convincing arguments: in this case, why and how arts and humanities matter.
Deborah, Brent’s faculty supervisor, said that supervising Brent reminded her of “the range of skills and abilities English majors can offer employers and non-profit groups. He offered innovative ideas and worked well in response to suggestions. aha! Manhattan committee members were impressed by Brent's professionalism and the quality of his work.”
Brent continues to keep contact with people from the group and appreciate those lasting professional connections. Brent has this to say to follow English students about internships: “Just do it because there is so much you will never learn without going out and experiencing it…. I would never have gotten the experience of how to work with diverse populations, how to get a product within a specific timeframe…There are so many different opportunities if you seek them out….Take this initiative to ask, ask faculty members you know, talk to friends, and eventually you’ll find something that’s good for you.”