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Aryaa’s Placement Reflection

Hi everyone, my name is Aryaa Dey and I have been interning at Eastside along with Mahnoor for the past five months. I am an undergraduate student at King’s College London studying Comparative Literature, and got involved with working for Eastside through the King’s Civic Leadership Academy Programme. 

As a literature student, I have always been interested in the arts. Thus, when I first saw Eastside on the King’s Civic Leadership website, I was instantly drawn in by the work that it did and the values it stood for. Promoting the arts among young people was a cause that I believed in, and now I was getting to be a part of it! 

My internship began on a chilly, February morning when I, along with the entire Eastside team, visited the Young V&A museum. Matt, the CEO at Eastside, asked us to look around for ‘inspiration’. At first, I was confused about what he expected us to do. Why was I at the Young V&A museum looking for ‘inspiration’? How would I find ‘inspiration’ in a children’s museum? What did ‘inspiration’ mean in the first place? Sceptical, I began my search for the unknown. I saw children performing in a make-shift theatre, directing what was essentially a one-man show, or in this case, a one-child show.  I watched as children played in the ball pit, imprinting in the sand shapes never imagined before. Unexpected places revealed stories I had never heard, and before I could realise, I had found what I was looking for. Images turned into meaning and meaning turned into ‘inspiration’. That is how my foray into this organisation began, by understanding what ‘inspiration’ truly is. 

Once I started my spring term, which extended to the summer, I got to know the lovely Eastside staff better. From filling out excel sheets to interacting with kids in an animation workshop, they were with us every step of the way. I could feel them silently cheering me on as I navigated through the highs and lows of the professional world. They taught us skills like editing, copywriting, drafting agreements, doing fundraising research, and most importantly, writing emails! I can now confidently say that they managed to achieve the daunting task of converting a technical novice to a technical wizard (almost). 

As I near the end of my placement, I look back at my experience at Eastside with nothing but gratitude. The confidence and skills that this organisation has provided me with will remain in my life forever. Thus, I would like to end this by saying a heartfelt thank you to the entire Eastside team for providing us with this wonderful experience that will guide us in all our future endeavours. 

Working towards a future in which all young people’s creativity is nurtured and celebrated