The Apprenticeship Program, while relatively short in duration, is a huge part of what makes the Festival successful year after year. Throughout the years, apprentices have been out in the city making sure that all of the smallest details are executed properly. The deadline for submitting applications is February 14. APPLY NOW. 

CLICK HERE to read Part 1 of this series.

Of course, we think the program is second to none, but don’t take our word for it. See what Kara Ööpik and Claire Linney have to say about their experience as an apprentice at Spoleto Festival USA:

Apprentice2

Name:

Kara Ööpik

Year:

2013

Department:

Box Office

How did you hear about the Spoleto Apprenticeship Program?

Initially I heard of Spoleto USA from a family who, for the last three years, I’d been nannying for in my college town. I’d been discussing wanting to do something amazing and fun for my summer and just hadn’t decided exactly what that would mean. The mother told me about a job she had had right after college working for Spoleto and thought that I would fit right in with the culture of the Festival. After her encouragement, I looked up Spoleto and realized the apprenticeship programs were a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience and also enjoy what I was doing!

What was your favorite aspect of being an apprentice?

I loved being part of the Box Office team! The environment of the Box Office was fast paced and incredibly versatile which was enjoyable because there was never a dull moment. Being an apprentice I always felt like there was something new to learn. Something unique to being an apprentice at the Box Office is that you are able to learn about all of the performances in depth, including being able to go to many of the shows. What makes this experience so exciting happens when you are working directly with patrons in purchasing their tickets; not only can you offer your own first-hand experience of the performance, but also, you can better understand how best to serve the patrons’ interests.

What skills did you gain as an apprentice?

I learned how to use Tessitura Ticketing operating system.  I also gained the necessary telephone skills to assist in selling tickets and handling customer service inquiries in an efficient and polite manner.  Another skill I learned was being able to not only multitask but maintain the enthusiasm and excitement with my team during, at times, very long workdays.

What are you doing now?

I am currently in my final semester at University of North Carolina Wilmington completing my double major in International Studies and Political Science.

What would you say to potential apprenticeship applicants?  

Prepare to work in a fun and rewarding work environment! Also, if you have the opportunity, see every show and performance you can.

• • •

Apprentice3

Name:

Claire Linney

Year:

2013

Department:

Artist Services

How did you hear about the Spoleto Apprenticeship Program?

I am from Raleigh, NC and planned on moving to Charleston.  I remember googling “Best event in Charleston, SC,” of course found Spoleto, and applied.

What was your favorite aspect of being an apprentice?

I felt like I traveled the world during Spoleto, getting to know artists and guests from all over the world; from Spain to Italy, England to China.

What skills did you gain as an apprentice?

Being a part of the inside view of an event taught me the importance of attention to every detail, great communication skills, and importance of planning.

What are you doing now?

I work at the Post and Courier on the digital advertising team.

What would you say to potential apprenticeship applicants? 

You will be surrounded by exemplary coworkers, artists, and guests.  Make conversations, ask questions, get to know the people-it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Go to as many shows as you can, stay the extra hours, work as hard as you can, and when the band starts–dance.

• • •

CLICK HERE to apply for an apprenticeship during the 2014 Festival season.

If you are a past apprentice who would like to submit answers to the questions asked in this blog, please reach out to Jen Popper at [email protected]. (Jen is also an alumni of the Apprenticeship Program.) We’d love to hear from you!