Wolf Trap Interns: A Day in the Life

Wolf Trap Interns: A Day in the Life
Sep 02, 2015

By: Aliza Grant, Education Intern: Internships and Community Programs, Summer 2015

It’s 9 am Wednesday, and the lobby at Wolf Trap Foundation sits sun-streaked and quiet as employees shuffle in, coffee in hand, prepared for a new day. As the seasons change, so do some faces —interns come for the fall, spring, and summer terms from across the country to gain professional experience, take advantage of networking opportunities, and enjoy everything encompassed in the “Wolf Trap experience.”

The Donor Relations intern settles in and continues an email thread with an employee in the Box Office asking to set up a meeting to get professional advice.  Calendars scanned and emails sent, the intern heads to the weekly Intern Seminar from 10 to 11 am. The Intern Seminar provides a unique opportunity to hear from professionals across the organization about their careers and backgrounds while gaining valuable professional advice. That day, they hear Sara Jaffe,  Senior Director of Development, speak about cultivating relationships. The week before, the staff accountant offered advice on managing finances as a young professional. The seminar flies by, especially during the last half hour, when interns pepper staff with questions. We are eager to glean as much as possible: information, wisdom, and ideas they can take away and use in the future.


Summer Interns tour the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Nearly lunchtime, they disperse, with the Special Events intern heading to the outdoor picnic tables to meet her mentor for lunch. Two employees face off at the ping-pong table, the bouncing balls providing a pleasant beat as the intern and mentor discuss everything from professional advice to their excitement about last night’s show at the Filene Center. At 1 pm they rush upstairs to hear Wolf Trap Opera’s “Little Lunch Music,” a mini concert for staff members, featuring three or four songs from upcoming productions performed by the members of Wolf Trap Opera — a one-of-a-kind residency program for aspiring opera professionals.

The afternoon brings with it the Communications and Marketing staff meeting, where a Public Relations intern hears employees talk about what they’ve been working on that week. She takes in their words, anticipating her own upcoming report. When her turn arrives, she shares the marketing research she’s been conducting and the press release that has finally come to fruition. Staff members nod appreciatively, comment, and listen as the next employee shares his work. The intern is left with a feeling of accomplishment and a sense that she is a valued and necessary part of a cohesive and efficient team.

With the day coming to a close, the interns pack up their belongings and head out. On this particular night, they meet on the lawn for a picnic and a show—complimentary ticket included. The Scene Painting intern is thrilled to see her piece appear on the main screen before the performance. The copywriting intern’s words appear throughout the performance program. Both look around at the thousands gathered on the Filene Center grounds with their blankets spread out, cups full, and eyes on the main stage, and the interns understand that they are a part of something unique and important.  They enjoy the show and look forward to another day as a Wolf Trap intern.

InternPost_Blog3Summer Interns spend a day on The Hill discussing arts education + their internship experience with their representatives, including Senator Mark Warner (pictured) & Congresswoman Barbara Comstock  

Like what you see? Click here to learn more about the Wolf Trap internship program.