Sinfonia Students is our one-year voluntary scheme, offering students valuable experience in arts administration. The scheme is currently open to students in Cambridge and, for the first time in 2015-16, London. Initially built from the orchestra's partnership with the University of Cambridge (as its Orchestra-in-Residence), the scheme has grown over the past two years to now work with students from Anglia Ruskin University, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal College of Music.
Through this role, Sinfonia Students gain insight into the workings of a professional chamber orchestra as they work alongside the marketing team to promote concerts to the student community via print and digital media. They also receive great rewards and build a relationship with the orchestra with free concert tickets, a full week work experience in the offices, and the opportunity to write posts, such as reviews of concerts, which are published on our blog.
A manageable commitment
The role of Sinfonia Student is different from a typical arts internship and allows students to work alongside the marketing team throughout an entire season, gaining insight into marketing strategies and techniques as they unfold. From personal experience, it is not always easy to commit to a full-time 3-6 month internship; they can be highly competitive, and costly in travel expenses if you do not already live in the city and the organisation is only able to reimburse a certain amount.
With the Sinfonia Students scheme, we wanted to create a manageable and flexible opportunity, that students could easily commit to while still balancing their studies and free time...
"The role of Sinfonia Student really is one of flexibility and creativity. I was keen to apply, however I was aware that any commitments I made might be too much; on the contrary, I found that the experience was completely manageable, and yet that I could get as much back as I put in, which is so useful."
(Carl, Sinfonia Student 2014-15)
A unique opportunity
During the year, Sinfonia Students implement and help to develop marketing strategies built for their university peers and have regular contact with Britten Sinfonia's marketing team. They also develop a relationship with the organisation as they spend a week in the office working with different departments, and have gone on to make professional contacts through events such as our Composers Workshop.
"When applying for the Sinfonia Student position, I had no idea how many new doors would open from this opportunity! Meeting some of the players and conductors has enabled me to make professional connections, and the whole experience has given me skills which I can take to other music administration jobs."
(Simone, Sinfonia Student 2014-15)
Valuable experience for future jobs
In the competitive world of arts administration jobs, experience in the industry is becoming even more crucial when applying for a first job, and this type of valuable experience is something that being a Sinfonia Student can provide. Not just looking good on a CV, the role provides the opportunity to take on real responsibility and engage with developing marketing ideas that can make a first job application really stand out.
"Being a Sinfonia Student allowed me to acquire valuable work experience. I am now more confident that I can go into a working environment after graduating with the practical skills one may not acquire by solely completing their course of study."
"Being a Sinfonia Student has been particularly helpful: it provided me with experience in several areas relating to the fields in which I wish to work, something which employers value, without being stressful or unreasonably time consuming."
(David, Sinfonia Student 2014-15)
With free concert tickets, opportunities to attend rehearsals and the chance to make new friends, what's not to enjoy? Our Cambridge Sinfonia Students from the 2014-15 season enjoyed their experience so much they have volunteered to mentor the 2015-16 Sinfonia Students, providing additional support and advice as they begin the role.
Applications for Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge students are open until Friday 16 October. Click here for more information about the role and how to apply.
"If you're considering a career in arts admin or marketing, then this is definitely worthwhile!"
(Emma, Sinfonia Student 2014-15)
"This is a student experience with a professional orchestra not to be missed!"
(Simone, Sinfonia Student 2014-15)
Read Carl's review of At Lunch 4 here.
Read Simone's experience of the 2015 Composers Workshop here.