Meet Melanie Heidotting

Melanie Heidotting is a Donor Relations Intern
 at Ohio State's Wexner Center for the Arts

Melanie Heidotting 

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Program: Arts Management

What sparked your interest in Arts Management?

The arts have always been an interest of mine and they’ve always been a part of my life. However, I never thought much about working within the arts world until I came to Ohio State and found this program. As a freshman, I was studying International Business, which I enjoyed, but realized I needed a change. This was when I found the arts management major. I was excited about the idea of being an arts manager or administrator that supported and uplifted the work of artists. As I near my graduation, I am very happy I made the switch and am excited to start working in the field!

Why did you choose Ohio State for your BA studies?

I chose to attend Ohio State for a couple of reasons. One being that I was familiar with the campus and Columbus area because two of my older siblings had gone here. I saw how much they enjoyed their time in Columbus and was excited about what it had in store for me as well. Additionally, I loved all Ohio State had to offer, including many areas of study and a multitude of student organizations. Coming out of high school, I was still finding what I was passionate about, and I felt that Ohio State would be the best place to find it. Sure enough, I found people with similar interests and a major I’m incredibly passionate about.

Where are you completing your internship and what are your internship duties?

I am completing my internship at the Wexner Center for the Arts. My official role is as the Donor Relations Intern, and I work within the development department. My work includes supporting the development team in various ways. I’ve previously done research on potential donors or grants, writing for the Wex website, and data collection for an annual report. Also, I have had opportunities to work with the other development interns and collaborate with them on projects.

What goals did you set for yourself in completing your internship at the Wex and how have you met these goals?

Some of my goals included improving my interpersonal skills, learning more about arts nonprofits, and gaining professional experience. I believe my day-to-day work and collaboration with coworkers has helped me gain this valuable experience and practice my communication skills. Additionally, the various projects I’ve worked on have increased my knowledge and understanding of how nonprofits operate, especially in the area of development.

What advice would you give to students interested in completing an internship? What advice would you give to students about applying for internships?

My biggest piece of advice would to not be afraid of applying for internships that may seem daunting or challenging. It’s easy to read job descriptions and doubt that you can do all they’re asking. However, I think it’s important to have confidence in yourself. I believe everyone’s more capable than they give themselves credit. Also, if you don’t know how to do something or lack experience, an internship is a great opportunity to learn and grow. Lastly, I think it’s important to be prepared if you are given the chance to interview for a position. Researching the company or organization and prepping answers to common questions, can make a difference in how well an interview goes.

How has the Barnett Internship Program helped you learn additional professionalization skills?

This program has helped me grow immensely as a professional. I got practice in marketing via a visual reflection project for the class. Marketing and branding are areas I’m less knowledgeable in, so I appreciated having the opportunity to practice and improve on those skills. Also, the reflection aspect of the program has been great for evaluating my goals and the progress I’m making towards them. This is something I hope to continue doing in the future.