Sally received a Record of Achievement award from CAPA International Education when she studied abroad in London during the Fall semester of 2013. Below she talks about her internship with Theatro Technis, her first impressions of the tube and the skills she learned abroad that will be to her advantage now that she has returned to the States.
CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
SALLY NGUYEN: My name is Sally Nguyen. I am a Theatre Arts major from Clark University in Massachusetts. In Fall 2013 I studied abroad in London! I had a theatre internship and was taking theatre classes at CAPA International Education. I loved going to the West End of London to see as many plays as I could. I also loved shopping and visiting movie sites. I am a big Downton Abbey fan!
CW: What were your first impressions of your host city? How did these change over the course of the semester?
SN: My first impression of London was not good. I thought it was too crowded and I disliked taking the tube. As time passed, I realize that the tube is very valuable and it takes you all over London.
CW: What changes have you seen in yourself since you began your study abroad program? What has your experience taught you about yourself and the world around you?
SN: I have learned not to judge something based off looks and to have an open mind.
CW: When you think of your host city, what first comes to mind when you hear the following:
Sight: London Eye
Sound: The Tube
Smell: Baked Goods
CW: Tell us a bit about your internship that you completed while studying abroad, your duties and accomplishments. How will this experience help you in your future career?
SN: My Internship was at a small theatre called Theatro Technis. I was overseeing a production that showcased in January. Working on the “We, Macbeth” production gave me a chance to voice my opinions and speak up. It gave me a chance to work on my social skills. These social skills, such as how to network with other companies and with the media, will help me in my future when I go on auditions myself or when I am working as part of a team. One standout memory was when we heard back from a grant that I had applied for with great news that they were considering Theatro Technis for it. Theatro Technis hadn’t been successful in the past with receiving grants, so this was very exciting for us.
CW: Give an example of a valuable contribution you made to your internship site and how it has impacted the operation of the workplace.
SN: Before I left, I was involved with a production called “We, Macbeth” which is about the assassination of President Kennedy. I was overseeing this whole production. I put up many casting calls on websites and received many audition interests for the production. Before this, Theatro Technics wasn't familiar with using social media and media networks for casting. We were just going to hold auditions for one week, however due to so many audition interests, we extended the audition dates. I set up auditions and I was handing all casting aspects for the production. Since the production didn't have any funding, I had to reach out to many set designers and ask if they could design the set for free, and fortunately I found two. This production opened this month, right after I left, but I handled the press releases and participated in rehearsals up until my departure.
CW: How do you imagine your internship experience will have impacted the way you think, study, work and/or live now that you've returned home?
SN: Now that I've returned home, I will bring all the skills that I have gained from my internship. The one skill that I will use a lot when I am home and studying is the skill of organization. I have learned with casting that to be organized is very important; it makes everything run smoothly and effectively. Planning out everything that needs to be done and then visually seeing what needs to be done helps me work at a better pace.
My internship has also given me a better understanding of what goes on in a production besides just with the actors. I did not realize so much work goes into the background of a production. I have become more open minded and understanding of every aspect of a production.
Being a Senior, these skills are very important to have. Since I will be searching for a job, it is good to know how to talk to a potential supervisor and what are reasonable manners and what aren't. Even throughout my daily life, using these skills will help me stand out more as a person. Being able to articulate my ideas, thoughts and feelings is an important skill to have because it will help me in my studies and future.
CW: What were the biggest challenges you faced in adapting to your host country? Most rewarding moment?
SN: My biggest challenged was trying to figure out the tube and adapting to reading the signs. My most rewarding moment is when someone ask me how to get to a tube station and I knew how to explained it them.
CW: Describe an area of the city that surprised you and tell us what it was about it that you didn’t expect. How did this change your perceptions of the city as a whole?
SN: I think Piccadilly Circus shocked me the most because it reminds me of New York. There are always bright lights flashing and it is always crowded. It made me realize that London has so much more to offer and London is very cultured.