Nishi's Last Week: Q&A
This week we say goodbye to our Creative Learning intern, Nishi Sockalingam, as she finishes her placement here with us. Over the past few months, she has been an amazing asset to the Dukes team, and we took a moment to reflect on her achievements and her plans for the future. We'd love to say a massive thank you to Nishi for her dedication and the effort she has put in with us, and we can't wait to see her continue to succeed.
What have your main roles and projects been during your time with the Dukes?
My role as the Creative Learning Intern was to work with the Creative Learning team on their different projects, whilst also helping from an administrative perspective. This involved completing monitoring and evaluative analysis for the different projects. I have also recently got a chance to work on contracting!
The main project I worked on during my time at The Dukes was ‘Speak Up’. I was really glad to work on this, as I got the chance to meet and work with some amazing young people whilst working on a short film about protest.
If you had to pick one moment as a highlight of your experience here, which would you choose?
This is a hard one! I would definitely have to say the premiere and watch party for the ‘Speak Up: We’ve Had Enough’ short film, as even though I had seen the end product before, it was great to see all the young people’s reactions to the film. It really means something when you see everyone’s hard work come together.
Has it been difficult working with Covid-19 restrictions?
It was definitely a change! However, I did get used to it after a while. I missed working in the office alongside Carl [Woodward, Creative Learning Manager], but in some ways for different projects it helped! For instance, when it came to the making of the Speak Up short film, it helped in terms of developing skills with the editing and production side of the project.
How do you think you’ve developed your own skills professionally during your internship?
I wasn’t the most tech savvy, even though I’d like to think I was. That has changed for sure since I have done this internship. From the admin side, I know a lot more about what to do when it comes to IT. I have also gained a lot more confidence, as this is the first time I’ve ever really worked alongside professionals in the arts. Voicing my opinion in meetings has definitely come more naturally since I joined The Dukes. At first when I joined as the Intern, I assumed that I would be sort of in the background, picking up odd bits to work on. But boy was I wrong! I felt like a valued member of The Dukes from the get-go and have loved getting to know and work alongside the staff. I got the chance to lead as a member of The Dukes in projects and work with professionals in the industry.
How do you think you’ve helped the community through your internship?
My voice was being heard from the start, so I felt as though I got the chance to make an impact during my time at The Dukes. I had conversations about how we can improve inclusivity at The Dukes and during my first week I did some research into the different communities across Lancaster that we could engage with. Which I’m happy to say has inspired the next Creative Learning project to come (spoiler alert!).
What are your next steps? Do you plan to stay involved with the arts?
So alongside being the Creative Learning Intern, I have also been a first year Philosophy and Politics student at Lancaster University, so I will be carrying on with that. With The Dukes, I am happy to announce that I will be joining the new youth board! I will be on the youth board alongside some of the young people who created the ‘Speak Up: We’ve Had Enough’ short film, so it will be great to see some familiar faces!
Finally, would you recommend this internship to others in the future?
Yes! It honestly was the best internship I could ask for. Everyday was something new, different and interesting. One day you may be making magic kits to post to kids in the half term, the other day you might be working with an award-winning celeb actress (Julie Hesmondhalgh!). To the next intern, Flo, I want to say congratulations and I hope you enjoy your time with The Dukes as much as I did!
Do you have anything else you’d like to add?
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone at The Dukes, especially to the Creative Learning Team, Carl, Tom and Keilah! You have all taught me so much during my time here, and I will miss you all a lot. Even though I will not be leaving The Dukes entirely, I will miss being part of the Creative Learning team! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time and have learnt more about what it is to be an artist. As we are all artists in our own right! Stay safe and stay creative!
Nishi Sockalingam :)