English & History student Molly Adams reflects on her experiences working as an Arts Ambassador and talks about her plans for the next few years in Southampton.
I’ve found that working as an Arts Ambassador at the University of Southampton has been an absolutely incredible learning experience for me. The role has given me an insight into a variety of different careers
– in arts-administration primarily, but also in the sort of arts venues I’ve always loved attending, such as concert halls, art galleries, and theatres. Being able to network with people at every level of involvement in the arts, from directors, curators, and performers, to students seeking to get involved in Southampton has been an experience that launched me directly out of my comfort zone in the best way possible.
One of my personal highlights was being able to interview Alyn Shipton, a BBC Radio 3 broadcaster and bassist of the Buck Clayton Legacy Band, (with my fellow Arts Ambassador Hannah Teague) ahead of Buck and Billie at Turner Sims. Being able to not only gain an insight into jazz music’s vibrant history and legacy from an expert in the field, but also being treated as an equal in the ongoing conversations about progress in the arts was an incredible experience and my only regret is that I didn’t have even more of these conversations.
Another highlight of the role was the other three Arts Ambassadors I was lucky enough to work with. At university, it’s easy for courses to become insular and so being able to work with three people with different fields of study, interests, and skills was really interesting, and getting to work with such an incredible team made the job so much more enjoyable.
If I had to change anything about my role/experience with Arts at the University of Southampton, it would definitely be to take on more big projects. While the day-to-day running of social media accounts and attending events where we can represent arts and culture to students are important, larger group-based projects such as our video interview series (Behind the Curtain) really brought our team together and had such a wide reach that it would have been great to do more.
In the future, I plan to stay in Southampton and continue my studies in English literature. I really do love this city and there are so many opportunities here for people aspiring to get involved with theatre, film, and literature, so I’m hoping to stay for at least a few years to really make the most of what Southampton has to offer.
Arts Ambassadors is a paid opportunity, supported by the Careers and Employability Service’s Excel Southampton Internship programme, University of Southampton