Earlier this year we heard about the experiences of ICA Apprentices Shanah Daniels and Sam Goldward. As part of the ICA's continued dedication to this programme, we've expanded our roster to include Digital Apprentice Joshua Lloyd-Hall, who shares with us here his first-hand account of the ICA as he settles into his 18-month position.
I’ve been part of the ICA Communications team for over three months now, and what an adventurous few months it’s been.
Maybe I should start at the beginning: September 2nd, my first day at the ICA. I honestly couldn’t have been more nervous. Although I’d already met two of the brilliant staff members I would be working with, nothing can overcome the nerves of walking into an office full of people you don’t know.
Since my first day I’ve felt pretty at home here, like I’m part of the team; as cliché as it sounds, I didn’t think I’d settle in this quickly. Luckily there are two other apprentices already at the ICA who really helped me to get to grips with things, and the staff and atmosphere here couldn’t be better.
I’ve had the chance to do so many brilliant things. My first few days were spent learning the ins and outs of the content management system we use to keep the site updated - again, thanks my brilliant team, I got a pretty good understanding of how it worked and what was expected of me. Since then there has been no stopping me. Recently I built 55 artist profiles in just over three days, and I’m happy with the support I was given to get an understanding of everything technical.
Things just kept getting better: during my first week I was lucky enough to go along to the London Film Festival programme launch, which was an insight into a world I’d never seen before. The cinema was full of important writers from nearly every newspaper and magazine in England, and seeing first-hand how closely companies and art institutes work together to hold these events reassured me that I was in the right place. A lot of my time is spent updating the website and sorting production pages, along with helping to manage and post on social media. I've also had the opportunity to go to a UAL Fresher’s Fair to promote the ICAs Off-site programme - it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and in half a day I managed to empty a box of programs and get plenty of names and subscribers for our weekly newsletter. It was a unique opportunity that I’m happy to have had a chance to partake in, and nothing is better than promoting where you work, especially with an off-site and onsite programme like ours.
During my short time here lots of things have been and gone, including Frieze week. Not only did I get the chance to go to the Frieze London art fair and check out the amazing works of art, but I was also invited to an Empty Frieze event, which is an early morning preview for Instagrammers just before the fair opens to the public. This gave me the opportunity to take some amazing pictures of the artwork. Plus being at the biggest art fair in London without tons of other people is just amazing and I met some truly great people.
The thing about working at the ICA is that no day is the same, we’ve always got so much going on that there's always something to do, somewhere to go or something new to see. The amazing staff and lively atmosphere just adds to the brilliance of working here. Seeing behind the scenes of exhibitions and events has to be one of the greatest things I’ve experienced, the ever-growing programme and list of events reminds me that things won't be easing up anytime soon - but I didn’t apply for this job for an easy life. Being busy, learning and having interesting things to do is so important, and I couldn’t be happier with what I’m doing. ■
For further information about Apprenticeships at the ICA, please visit this page dedicated to the programme.