Rachel Wilkinson
Administrator – Dartington International Summer School & Festival

How did you find your way into your current position?

I went straight into a job after my undergrad, but in retail - not what I'd been hoping for! After my Masters, I was a Teaching Assistant for a year before completing an internship in Concert Administration at St Martin-in-the-Fields. I'd volunteered at the Summer School at Dartington during my MA so knew it was a really interesting place to be.

What are your strongest memories of your time at York?

One of the most prominent has to be Prac Proj (Paul Bunyan). I remember thinking 'I get to spend my whole day just making music? This is amazing!'. But also all the concerts that I saw or performed in (at least 63 according to my scrapbook) including the Cage Songbooks with Bill Brooks and of course, 'Thief Lane's got Talent'... And during my MA, I learnt Baroque dancing live on Radio 3 for Comic Relief. Need I say more?!

How did York prepare you for your career?

My assistantship in the Box Office was good work experience and helped me to realise that Arts Administration was for me. It introduced me to lots of interesting people, and I now discover York music graduates wherever I go - it's a great network to be part of. It's also a place where the unexpected becomes normality, and that means that I barely bat an eyelid when an interesting request appears on my desk eg ' I need a revolutionary flag and a bed by tomorrow'. The mindset of York is that, even as a student, you can make things happen.

What advice would you have for current students?

Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do right away! Lots of people will do, and that's all right too, but that doesn't mean you need to panic and make a decision you'll regret. Most importantly, do something that makes you happy. Take the time to find a job you love doing, and don't be afraid to do other things until you find it. And of course, appreciate everything that's offered to you at York while you can. Concerts are NOT free in the real world!

Rachel Wilkinson