Jade Poole, intern producer
Jade started out with Exim Dance Company on a paid internship as a producer, but within a year she was promoted all the way up to general manager. In 2015 she won the Creative & Cultural Skills Intern of the Year Award.
From the outset, Jade made a big impression on her team. They saw how driven and focused she was and how her energy and enthusiasm rubbed off on her colleagues.
When her internship came to an end, Jade had made herself so valuable to the company that a brand new role was created for her as a producer. But it didn't stop there.
Several months on and she was promoted yet again to be general manager of Exim Dance Company, which meant taking over the day-to-day running of the organisation.
Bringing skills to the workplace
One of Jade's early tasks was to book and manage Exim's first UK tour. She had the daunting job of contacting theatres, universities and colleges and persuading them to book an unknown dance company on its first UK tour. As any tour booker will know, this is difficult.
Despite Jade's lack of experience, she booked them on to a 12 date tour.
For a small business taking on an intern, it was a financial risk. But that risk has 100 per cent paid off.
While many venues didn't choose Exim the first time around, Jade managed to convince them to book on subsequent tours. Team mates put this success down to her skills in building good, strong working relationships.
In addition to booking the tour, Jade toured with Exim in order to help ensure that everything ran smoothly.
Claire Summers, the company director of Exim, who nominated Jade for the award said: "Jade made sure that everything from the costumes being ironed to ensuring that everyone was on cue and where they were supposed to be was in order."
"Jade even spent the day before the show putting up flyers around the town we were performing in, to attract a bigger audience. Because of Jade the whole tour was a smooth operation."
Learning to work in theatre
Although Jade has a degree in Dance Theatre, this didn't prepare her for the job role. Everything was learned on the job through trial and error and research, with support from members of Exim and Plymouth Dance.
The tour booking and tour managing elements were particularly desirable skills for Exim. While the usual way to progress in these areas is to shadow a tour booker, Jade didn't have this opportunity. Instead, she committed to furthering her understanding by reading and research.
Claire said: "Jade's management of the tour was faultless and I was able to relax and perform with the company knowing that, because of Jade, everything would run smoothly."
How the employer has benefited
Because of Jade's work, Exim says it now understands the value of internships – not only for the organisation, but for the individual too.
Claire said: "Jade has brought a real sense of maturity and organisation to the company. Without her we would not have had a successful tour or be in the position we are in now, moving forward into 2015. Jade is a real asset to our organisation and I really couldn’t ask for a better employee."
Jade made herself so valuable to the company that a brand new role was created for her as a producer.
"For a small business taking on an intern, it was a financial risk. But that risk has 100 per cent paid off. Our growth and professionality over the past few months is thanks to the new energy Jade has injected into all of us."
Since completing her internship, Jade has become sought after in Plymouth because of her skills. A key aspect of the tour booking was relationship building. With these skills, Jade has taken the new path of corporate sponsorship development for the arts.
Jade said of winning Intern of the Year: "It is such a privilege to have even been nominated for this award.... one I could not have anticipated.
"I take great pride in my work and I am lucky enough to have had some fantastic mentors. It is incredible to have both my work and, in turn, that of my mentors, acknowledged on a national scale. Thank you all so much!".