Yolanda’s experience in Dublin shows that even a relatively short internship -- Yolanda was in Ireland for 4 weeks -- can offer invaluable pre-professional lessons, This focused young woman made the most of her placement, and shows how you can maximize your internship as well.
The self-described art enthusiast has been passionate about the subject for years.
“I’ve studied art history on my own, and have developed certain theories,” Yolanda explains. “I wanted to see if they play out in real life, I wanted to demonstrate my curating ideas, to see art conservation being done by experts.”
ELI Abroad placed her at an independent art gallery in Dublin; she lived with a local host family, an energetic and enthusiastic couple that shared her cultural interests.
“Living with a host family is more than just convenient housing,” she says. “It’s a way of getting to know the culture and society in a very personal, in-depth way.”
At the gallery, she took her work seriously, and in return was rewarded with a world of opportunities.
“In the beginning I labelled a lot of the gallery’s works and once I was familiar with the inventory I went on to talk to customers about the various pieces, their different styles, and about the local art scene in general.”
Handling the gallery’s virtual communication needs, a big part of interns’ duties, was another opportunity to learn about Irish art.
“I helped out with social media, Instagram and EBay listings. I also worked on the gallery’s website, putting up artists’ CVs online and researching background information.”
Dublin itself was also like a giant classroom.
“We were near the National Gallery of Ireland, and I got to attend lectures there nearly every day. The talks focused mostly on the National Gallery’s collection of Irish art, but I also learned a great deal about Caravaggio, the important Italian painter, whose famous painting, The Taking of Christ, hangs in Dublin.”
Artists’ workshops she attended offered an opportunity to learn about technique, sharpening her critical eye.
Evenings were a time to kick back, sometimes over dinner with her host family, spending hours discussing Irish history and culture, or relaxing in the city’s famous pubs. Yolanda remembers practicing her French language skills with French tourists over beer: as good a reason to visit Dublin pubs as any!
She returned home convinced that her future career will involve art in some way.
“It was an intense experience,” Yolanda says. “But that’s what I wanted.”
McGill University, watch out.
Yolanda may be just a freshman this fall, but this passionate young woman is bound to make an impact in the local art world, and beyond.