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Today marks the tenth anniversary of Blue Room, Bluecoat’s inclusive arts project for learning disabled artists. Head of Engagement, Bec ...

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Interview with an Intern: Larissa Kisel

Larissa (right) with Events & Sales Coordinator, Janine Cullen, at the Manchester Expo 2014.

Tell us about your internship: what department do you specialise in and what kind of duties are involved?

My internship is based in the events department for the trading company so I deal with all the corperate matters and the weddings to help supplement and give extra money to charities. I specialise in event delivery, coordination, taking on all the admin side of things, posting, dealing with any problems that may arise during the event. I assist in the creation of weddings, give ideas and tours of the spaces we have to offer. I also help in the sales-type of things, after a tour I will follow on from that and take the lead. 

 

What projects have you worked on whilst here?
The biggest one I created and managed from the beginning was the Summer Sessions - where we did regular live music in the gardens, when we could when it wasn't raining, every Friday between 6-9pm. It made a profit so it's something the Bluecoat is looking to take on for Summer 2015. I've also worked with DaDaFest on their festival last year and supporting them. 

What was your favourite performance? 
That's a tough one because there were a couple! It was probably the first Summer Session we did with Robert Vincent, a folk-rock-Americana-type singer. He was probably the best, where we did sell a lot from the bar and people were into the music. It was one of the busiest; it just had a real great opening vibe. The music was a mixture of groovy-rock and roll type songs and soft acoustic so I think it really attracted a wide range of people to the Bluecoat that really enjoyed it. Also, I'd like to mention the Halcyon Syncopators as my second choice - I know I'm not allowed a second but that's when we started getting our regular dancers!

Do you have any projects outside of the Bluecoat?
I write for an international music magazine such as live reviews and news articles, I also do interviews. I also have worked on a music festival, Fire Fest, with Nottingham Rock City. It brings in loads of Europeans because it features AOR type rock - so everything you can think of back in the 80s. There is something that I am looking towards - there's an old building in Huddersfield, it's been left abandoned for ten years based in the city centre, it's an iconic building and I just want to transform it into an academy-type venue! It'll be over £30 million worth of investing and reconstructre; it's got no water or electricity, there's a lot of work that needs doing before anyone can have the building. 

How does this internship tie into your career aims? 
I want to get into venues so a lot of my background beforehand was a lot of promoting and agency work, I wanted to get in with a venue so the internship from the venue's perspective was what I really wanted to get out of working with the Bluecoat, and because part of my background was mainly music, I wanted to be involved more in the arts; a type of different range of events, and even though I don't technically work directly with the arts sector, I get the corperate side of things: how to fundraise private sectors with businesses and obviously with weddings - it's something you can transfer different skills to. And if, in the near future, I would want to get into arenas you've got to have experience of both the hospitality side of things as well as the creative side. 

What do you enjoy most about working here at the Bluecoat?
The people who I work with, I think if you've got a really good team to work with it just makes your job enjoyable even if you were working in the worst job in the world.

How do you feel about internships and apprenticeships? Do they benefit people generally?
I do, massively. Internships - definitely, but it's always a struggle, as I've experienced in the past with so many other internships, it's hard to break out of the internship-field - it's hard to go up from that level, to try and get beyond that is quite difficult. But it does give you something to use at interviews, and when you're applying for jobs.
I've never had an apprenticeship, but I think it's definitely worth doing. If I was to go back in time, coming to that age now leaving school or college, I would have definitely gone straight to an apprenticeship. I think the hands-on experience you gain from one, you still come out with a qualification which is what's needed. I think especially in my industry people are more interested in experience than they are in a degree. A degree might be desirable but it's not always essential for an employer's specification of what they're looking for, so overall I think the experience in apprenticeships and interships is very valuable.

Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities on our Jobs page.

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About the Bluecoat

Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat showcases talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. As the most ...

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