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Student Job Series: Warwick Arts Centre (Steward)
Hi everyone! It’s a two student-job series month this month, after focusing on the summer school ambassador role last time, it’s about time to focus on the newest role I’ve taken up this year. I started working in the Arts Centre in October, taking up the role of event and head steward. For me, it’s been one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done this year – as not only has it been really enjoyable but I’ve had the opportunity to experience a variety of events as well as improve an abundance of skills.
So what does the arts centre entail as a steward? The main role of a volunteer/event steward is being able to interact with guests in order to provide a safe and enjoyable environment by being able to facilitate safety procedures and good customer service. The role across a regular event might be as follows: be briefed by a head steward about the events of the evening, including number of people expected, where you will be working, and any other info for the evening. Afterwards, you would check the doors and fire exits and be prepared to start checking tickets and welcoming guests inside. Each show is slightly different depending on what they might require, so the briefing is a great chance to get to know what’s going on! After, you might sell ice creams during an interval or be around to answer questions. Finally, at the end of the night there might be a little bit of tidying to do before a debrief and being able to go home. Head Stewards have a little bit of an increased sense of responsibility as it involves cashing up at the end of the night, and ensuring all stewards are happy (and dealing with anything that might escalate). Overall, the events are varied but enjoyable – and that’s just one of the great things I’ve found about working at the arts centre!
Photo taken from the Warwick Arts Centre website!
Not only that, but with the City of Culture next year, and the new Arts Centre finishing the build at the end of 2020, it’ll be a fantastic place to work with even more opportunities and events to take part in.
As a volunteer/event steward, you also get to watch the shows and performances alongside your work on the doors, which means that you can be exposed to a huge variety of events – the arts centre program is incredibly varied and fantastic no matter what you enjoy! Not only that, but the staff are not just students from performing arts backgrounds, but a wonderful group from across the university and local area. The skills that I’ve found developed further over the term and a half so far have been customer service, the ability to work effectively under pressure, and being able to communicate across the team of up to 15 stewards at a time.
Some of my favourite things I’ve done at the arts centre so far include working on graduation (being able to take part and help during the week was fun and enlightening as to what summer will be like for me!), working across the children’s shows during Christmas and seeing them all interact with Father Christmas, and seeing some fantastic acts including Sandi Toksvig and the variety of student shows that talented members of the university put on!
I hope this has given you some insight into what it’s been like to work at the arts centre. Recruitment tends to occur in October, so keep your eyes out for that next year! I seriously cannot recommend it enough as a place of work, study, and fun; I only wish I’d joined it sooner!