"My experience with the Young Professional programme has been fantastic.
I applied after the programme was recommended to me by a colleague at PwC, and I found the application process was thorough and had a focus on exploring candidate’s strengths to ensure the best fit with possible arts organisations. This provided me with a great deal of confidence that I would get the chance to work with a charity that specialised in an area I was passionate about.
After the application process, I attended a number of training sessions led by the talented Rosie Timoney. We started off with entertaining ice breaker activities to help us get to know our fellow participants. I enjoyed these because, as the training was virtual, it allowed you to get to know other participants and hear about everyone’s interest in taking part in the programme.
The training covered key areas such as law, finance and governance. We were taken through company law and charity law, which are crucial areas of legislation detailing what is expected of you as a trustee of a charity. For me, the legal training was key to understanding the dos and don’ts of a board member. Additional reading around charity law was also provided and added further insight to the role.
The next stage was to be matched with a charity. This part of the process is handled by the excellent staff at Arts & Business. It was recommended that I might work with University of Atypical, a disabled-led arts charity taking an empowerment-based approach towards supporting disabled and D/deaf people’s involvement in the arts. I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to be involved with University of Atypical, so Arts & Business NI arranged for me to meet the CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors, to see if we would be a good fit. At this meeting we discussed the charity’s background, what they are currently working on and what their future plans are. I was amazed when they informed me that they are working on a massive European project, amongst many other things. I was very impressed with the scale and ambition of their plans and it was obvious I would learn a great deal. The meeting went well and I was invited to sit in on the next board meeting.
Sitting in on the board meetings gives you a great insight into how the governance of the charity really works. As I come from a finance background, I was really keen to see the reporting of the monthly finances and how they were managed, especially in a year like this one. I learnt so much more than that, though. The board members displayed incredible expertise in their field and had a such a wealth of knowledge, I came away filled with enthusiasm for the next meeting and am really pleased to have the opportunity to be part of such an exciting and dynamic charity."
If you're start off in your career, then take a look at the details and apply for our Young Professionals Programme here.
More experienced? Then our Board Bank Programme might be the right fit for you. Click here to read more and apply.
Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.