December 18, 2023

An Internship Reflection by Megan Biesecker

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As a former student of Stephanie Stenglein’s (Associate Executive Director at Arts+), I came into this internship feeling confident and prepared. Stephanie had taught me well. From being in her classes, I had already learned so much about nonprofits and Arts+ in particular. I felt extremely comfortable coming into the position and was deeply excited to bring my creativity to the table. Admittedly, I did feel a little like a fish out of the water, as this was my first time working in an office (rather than at a front desk), but each and every person on the staff made me feel welcome and part of the team. I immediately connected with the people with whom I would be working.

When I began, I expected to work solely under the guidance of Stephanie Stenglein and Stephanie McKinley, but at such a close-knit organization, I quickly found that I would be assisting anyone and everyone. However, this is not a negative—I was certainly not expecting to get so much cross-functional experience. I was able to get right into working on my initial projects, like writing a new acknowledgement letter to donors for this season and even some grant writing. I was grateful for the acknowledgement of my skills in writing, and it was an incredible experience being able to put my knowledge into practice and being given the responsibility of such important tasks. Though I often felt out of my comfort zone with the work I was given, I was adequately supported and was able to challenge myself. I now feel as though I’ve gained so many important professional skills that will be useful regardless of the career path I choose. I accomplished more than I could have ever anticipated while working at Arts+.

Megan Biesecker
Megan Biesecker

During my time at Arts+, I was never made to feel like I wasn’t responsible or knowledgeable enough to complete a project. I never felt uncomfortable asking others for help, and I have been so happy to be another helping hand around the office. Though, to be entirely honest, I think my favorite days were those when I stuffed envelopes or copyedited for commas the whole time. Some of the biggest projects I’ve become most proud of were assisting in copyediting the entire Arts+ website and the board and employee handbooks. (When I first read through the employee handbook during onboarding, I knew I would be requesting to edit it🙂). I am so pleased to have been able to put my skills and passions to use at this impactful organization.

I am still unsure what I will be pursuing post-graduation, but I now have significant experience in marketing and communications, development, grant writing, copyediting, and social media content creation. I have successfully engaged in a professional environment and have come out even more skilled. My arts leadership education under Stephanie provided me with excellent background knowledge and accurate expectations for this position, and I am extremely grateful for this internship opportunity. I am even more excited to be studying abroad next semester so that I can return to Arts+ in my senior year and bring back a global perspective.

Though I feel as if I was spoiled with what seemed like the perfect internship experience, I know my time here has had a lasting impact on myself, my skills, and the work I create. I will be able to take my experience and use it in the classroom and beyond. I now feel more prepared than ever to continue my education.