A Day In The Life Of An AVA Festival Intern

We met up with Nuala to find out how her internship with AVA Festival is going.

The Big Music Project has part-funded several music industry internships and we are aiming to inspire and create incredible opportunities for young people from across the country who want to get into the music business. We’re sitting down with each of our interns to find out how they’re getting on! Here’s Nuala who works as an intern at AVA Festival.

Hey Nuala! How long have you been in your role?

Hi guys! I have been in my role for about three months now.

So, in such a cool job like yours, what’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

Well, I turn on my laptop, ask everyone how they are and if they’d like a cuppa (make the cuppas), go through all my emails and then write my priority list for the day!

That’s a nice way to start the day! Talk us through your day-to-day tasks.

It varies each day and each week. It is really dependant on what project I’m working on. Generally, tasks include:

  • Content planning for our social media platforms
  • Developing the overall marketing of the Festival
  • Managing the AVA PR Team through social media (around 70 people on this team), arranging meetings and helping them to drive ticket sales
  • Delegating tasks to another intern such as social media scheduling
  • Creating AVA branded graphics to go out on social media using InDesign and Photoshop
  • Researching and developing new creative partnerships for AVA by contacting companies and seeing how we could work together eg. clothing providers, live street artists, other event promoters, photographers
  • Contacting our AVA merchandise garments supplier and ensuring everything is running smoothly with production. I also sourced the supplier and designed the garments earlier in my placement!
  • Developing the décore and event design plan for the festival and our warm-up parties including research, materials sourcing, costing, ordering etc.
  • Developing a ‘creative team’ of young local creatives who are keen to get involved in the creative side of AVA this year, managing this team myself and giving roles that they will have during the festival (eg street style photographers)
  • Physically setting up the décor and design at our live events, managing the décor design of the entire event and managing a team of helpers to ensure everything is set up correctly
  • Working at front-of-house during live events
  • Organising photoshoot for the AVA merchandise garments

That is a lot of work! It seems like you have really settled into the role. What’s your favourite thing you do each day?

I love doing the creative partnership work, it makes me happy making connections with people and collaborating and giving them a platform to showcase their work.  I also really love the décor design element to my job, so really enjoy all aspects of that work.

Cool. So tell us about projects you’ve worked on and what you liked and didn’t like about them?

I worked on AVA merchandising. My task was to develop, design, and manage the production of new AVA branded merchandise for 2017.

I really liked designing the garments, finding suppliers and communicating with them, seeing the garments materialise as finished products and seeing how much interest customers have in them.  We’re starting to develop a plan for a merch photoshoot now as well which is fun.

What I didn’t quite like was that I wasn’t used to being so restricted with my garment designing as I’m from a fashion background. AVA only has one logo to work with and a limited colour palette so it was hard at first to not have any other design assets to use!

However, it was good to learn how to design to a refined brief like this.

Another project I worked on was the  BICEP Italo Disco Party. My tasks were:

  1. To develop and design an event décor plan for the Bicep Italo Disco party in Corsica Studios, London.
  2. The project included developing mood boards & liaising with partners to ensure everyone was in agreement on the design.
  3. The project included delegating work (eg ordering supplies) to another intern and managing the intern’s workload.
  4. Also,  physically setting up the décor at the event in London!

I absolutely loved setting the décor up for this event in London, it was such a buzz seeing my décor design materialise in a big, renowned London venue! It was heavy work with a lot of physical stuff like going up ladders and hanging materials etc, but it was great fun and everyone was really helpful and excited. We were working right up until doors opened and then went and got ready in Corsica Studio’s toilets and had a big staff party during the event!

Oh, you’re so lucky! What kind of challenges do you face day-to-day?

I think the biggest challenge for me has been prioritising and managing my own workload.  At AVA I usually have maybe 6 or 7 areas or projects on the go at once and it’s easy to become overwhelmed or get a clogged brain because you’re trying to think of all the things at once.

In previous jobs, I usually had one or maybe two projects to work on at a time, or when I come in I’m just told what to work on each day.  So, although it’s challenging it’s been a good experience for me to learn how to juggle and manage loads at once and keep them all ticking over – as that’s what it’s actually like when you start to move up in your career!

That’s very true. What have you learnt about the world of work?

It’s been great to be in a role where I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and a wide variety of work to manage.  I’ve really learnt a lot by stepping up into a role where I take control of my own projects, and delegate work to others, as well as regularly liaising with the team to ensure everything is on the right track.

What advice would you give to other people looking to apply for internships?

Go for it! Internships are great, I think they’re the best way to boost your confidence (and gain experience) when you’re at the start of your career.  It’s so important to make connections with people as well, if you go into an internship and you shine and really work hard, people will remember you and you’ll keep getting opportunities.

What do you want to do next?

I’ve saved up some money so over the summer, I’m doing some travelling and experiencing events in different cities across Europe.  I think it’s so important in this industry to keep yourself inspired and travelling and going to events and festivals is the best way to do it!  After that, I’ll be developing my portfolio using all the work I’ve done over the past few months and looking for further work experiences.

You are going to have a blast! In an ideal world, where will you be in five years time? 

There are a few different areas I could see myself in, I’d love to step up my creative production even further and work on some even bigger events overseas. I could also see myself setting up my own creative business somewhere down the line, having my own team and developing opportunities for young people like myself!

Thanks, Nuala!

Thanks, TBMP!

If you are interested in a paid internship, check out our job’s board which is always updated with the newest roles from around the UK.