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Intern Reflection by Maria - Spring 2019

Intern Reflection by Maria - Spring 2019

Posted by Maria Smith on Apr 13th 2019

No one ever prepares you for the transition between undergrad and adult-ing. It’s filled with so many unpredictable twists and turns that you’re always scrambling to find the manual, and when you do, it’s written in Dutch. How convenient. This was me, is me currently, as I finish my first semester at Belmont University as a graduate student. With so many unpredictable aspects that come with becoming an adult, it has been more than refreshing to be an active intern at POVA.

It may seem untraditional for a graduate student to be doing a for-credit internship with undergraduate students, but the POVA environment was so welcoming that I didn’t feel like an old maid or an outcast. Instead, I felt nurtured as a young creative who wanted experience on how to make an impact on their community. I took this position hoping that it would nurture my love for art and activism, and it has. Serving in the department of curation and education, I felt very connected to the work. I appreciated talking with artists and learning their stories so I could help to supply what they needed. Learning how they create their pieces, what motivates them, and how they got to where they are was essential in making sure their work was displayed in the best way possible.

Being a working graduate student, I couldn’t commit as much time as I wanted to my position, but the time that I did serve was meaningful to me. Even if it was just doing inventory and removing nails out the wall for the next exhibit, I truly enjoyed every minute of it. In an unpredictable transition, the constant supportive environment of POVA was something I didn’t know I needed until I committed to it. Actively serving others as they better themselves in their craft is a humbling experience that has further motivated me to achieve my goals, and hopefully create similar results.

If I’ve learned anything at this point in my life, it’s that no one has it figured out. So even if you find the manual and learn Dutch, it could still very well be wrong. Through working with POVA, I’ve received more validation on the fact that uncertainty is ok because despite wherever you are, if you’re willing to try, there are people who will lift you up. That is what POVA does for its artists and interns, and for that I am forever grateful.