Settling in nicely...

Saeran Rowland

Faculty: Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Category: Staff

20 October 2017

It’s surreal to think that I’m already halfway through my second month working at the Mumford Theatre and Ruskin Gallery.

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Surreal is one word, scary is another for how quickly time seems to be passing. Despite time flying by, I definitely didn’t expect to be asked ‘What do you plan to do after this year?’ so soon. 

I suppose after being asked different variations of this question repeatedly throughout most of my time as a student (current and ex-students, I’m sure most of you can relate), it should have come as no surprise. The pressure to have an appropriate answer to this question used to be something that frightened me, but in my final year as a student and even now as a graduate trainee, I’ve grown more confident and comfortable with being honest about the fact that I don’t have everything worked out yet, which, the way I see it, means that I still have multiple possibilities for what I can do after this year. The possibilities are exciting to think about, but for now, I’m only a month and a half into this year-long experience. My main concern from day to day, so far, has mostly been taking everything in (remembering it) and trying not to trip over my own feet (this might sound silly, but for a clumsy person like myself this is a daily struggle!).

Case in point: preparing for the install of our new Box Office ticketing system. I was encouraged to be involved in as much of the process as possible; seeing the progress of the web design, keeping up to date with any new developments there were or any issues that arose. Some of the fine tuning and nitty gritty decisions were way over my head, but I managed to contribute to the design of our new e-ticket templates (not too shabby if I say so myself) and I assisted in pulling data from our old system, and composed emails to send out to let our customers know about our Box Office closure.

The actual go-live day left me with little to physically do, but observing the process of going step by step through setting up each aspect of the website and ticketing service to have the correct things in place was very informative. It gave me a chance to see how the system worked and how to manoeuvre the different sections within the system for future reference. Some of it was familiar from our training at the beginning of September, so it was useful to refresh my memory and to add to that training by learning other functions that the system could do (though I would be lying if I said my brain didn’t hurt by the end of it all). The decision to introduce a new membership scheme at the theatre (Mumford Friends Membership) made it more interesting because the training hadn’t covered setting up a membership section on our website, so it was completely new ground for all of us (it was nice to not feel like I was the only partially clueless one).

Overall the go live day went smoothly and our updated website has already had positive feedback for being much easier to use to buy tickets! So far I can agree with this 100% because the new system is definitely easier to use as far as serving customers is concerned. I’m still a little nervy with working Box Office, but I’m sure I’ll get there with practice (at least I’m sitting down…so I can’t trip over myself). 

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