Internship Stories from Prague
Travis R Thomas - Intern at Locus Workspace
Study Abroad Experience:
My name is Travis Thomas, I am a student studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic for the Fall semester of 2016. Originally from California, I have been conducting my studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Liberal Arts major in Communications with an emphasis in media. I’m delighted to be finishing my remaining qualifications for my Bachelors degree while being immersed in the culture of the Czech Republic.
Internship at Locus Workspace:
During my stay in Prague, I have dedicated my time to an internship position at a local coworking space called Locus Workspace. The mission statement of the company is to provide a productive atmosphere for freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads and other location-independent professionals to come and work alongside others. As a coworking company, Locus also hosts a number of social and professional-development events to facilitate goal achievement and social networking.
As an intern at Locus, I’m responsible for different social media duties, event promotions and the photography of the workspace. Recently, I have been in charge of providing pictures that some of the other interns can use to post in our multiple social media outlets. Additionally, I have been in charge of the promotion and orchestration of recent social event plans for the workspace, such as our famous: Mafia Game Night and Pub Night in which the members of Locus are able to come together in the company of others while participating in fun games and activities.
I have also just recently collaborated with the Locus Manager - Lenka to construct new calendars and event newsletters for the benefit of the members in the workspace. This endeavour was quite time consuming but in the end everything worked out and now we have updated information about the workspace events. Other previous collaborations with interns have been aimed at integrating live streaming of Locus events for the purpose of updating our active YouTube events channel. These recent projects have resulted in a great increase of members at both the hosted events and those who are participating via online viewing.
Working at Locus has been a great opportunity and has readily equipped me with some of the essential tools and work ethic to pursue a professional career after graduation. I have been greatly honored to have such a positive learning experience alongside an amazing group of people. Thanks Locus!
Neil Brinckerhoff- Intern at Prague Shakespeare Company
Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to be an intern with the Prague Shakespeare company, and I wanted to talk about my experiences through the internship.
After being paired with Prague Shakespeare Company, I went in for a meeting with them at the same time our classes began in September. Myself and 3 other interns from our study abroad program (One, Allie, was also an American studying through a different program) were then trained to work the box office shifts that all members of the company were expected to partake in. This included taking tickets/coats, handing out programs and handling the overall front of house duties during a show.
After this meeting we had the opportunity to speak with our advisor Kris regarding what types of tasks we would like to ideally work on, and see what fit would be best for us heading into the semester. As a Theater lover and communications major I was open to a variety of possibilities including marketing, social media, and production work. In the end I've had the opportunity to work at least in part on all of these aspects over my time as an intern with Prague Shakespeare Company.
The beginning work was fast paced because Prague Shakespeare Company is currently in the midst of “PSC 400” or the celebration of 400 years since Shakespeare's death. For this, they are aiming to perform every single work he has written within this year, and it looks like they are going to make it. Having shows so often (sometimes even three different performances a week) requires a lot of push to consistently bring in audiences. As interns with interest in marketing, we spent a lot of time looking at how PSC currently does their marketing and trying to come up with new ways to bring in Audiences. PSC is special because it is one of the few English speaking theater companies in Prague, so they need to reach a much different audience than other companies. The strategies we were thinking of, were in hopes of reaching those sorts of people in new ways. Luckily Prague does have a large expat community, so the options are larger than you may originally think. Ways that we were using to advertise were different email services to expats, english publications in Prague, and even utilizing the Ambassadors from England/US.
Beyond this, each of the interns were assigned specific shows to assist with marketing. Rob, a fellow intern, had the opportunity to work on a promotional film for a unique show that was going to take place in a boxing ring. I was working on some flyers to advertise shows held in their secondary venue - The Swan. The Swan is a bar/pub space located in the basement level of the same building as PSC, and they hold many types of events there including the “drunken” shows where the actors drink a lot and the audience's drink along with them. Since these shows are obviously very different that normal theatrical Shakespeare, they required different marketing ideas that I was pursuing. This included a flier that advertised three upcoming shows in the venue to be given with the program of all of the other shows in Divadlo Kolowrat. I designed this flyer for print, and it was a good experience to learn from.
In the second half of this semester, the 4 interns have all begun working together on a larger project for PSC. In order to share the PSC 400 work in 2016 with others, Prague Shakespeare Company has decided to make a large booklet summarizing all of the performances in a nicely designed format. This requires a lot of information to be collected as there are facts, cast lists, and show information scattered across the internet in many locations. Once we have accumulated these, we needed to think of design concepts for the booklet, and begin selection pictures and solving all the small logistical problems that comes with a design project like this. It been extremely fast paced since a project like this is usually completed by some professionals and it even takes them months, but as as students are doing our best to create a tangible object for PSC before we finish our internship. I have been working on putting together a comprehensive list of every person who worked on each show to have some sort of “yearbook” section in the back of the booklet to show just how many people it took to do such an intensive season.
While we are still finishing up this project, I am very thankful for the opportunities to work with Prague Shakespeare company while here in Prague. I have always thought that there is no better way to learn than by actually doing, so here I am - living and learning. The Prague Shakespeare Company is doing something special for english speakers here in Prague, and while there are so many striking similarities with the theater work I have done in the past, it is fun and interesting to see the unique challenges presented doing theatrical work abroad. I have once again reaffirmed that marketing is not a passion for me, just a necessity for businesses, and I am thankful to continue to provide fuel into my burning love for theater while living here in Prague.