Routes case studies
To find out more about Routes into Glyndebourne, you can read about the experience of past participants in our case studies.
In June 2013 Jace Petch began a one year placement with the Glyndebourne IT team through the Routes into Glyndebourne programme. Having graduated from the University of Greenwich with a degree in IT with Digital Media that summer, it was her first full-time job in IT and an opportunity to gain experience. During the placement one of her main responsibilities was to support a large-scale project to migrate Glyndebourne’s entire workforce to Google Apps for Business. Towards the end of Jace’s placement, a vacancy arose in the team for a permanent IT support coordinator and Jace was successful in applying for this role.
I was looking everywhere for a job but so many adverts would say you must have at least three years’ experience in this field and of course I’d just graduated so I didn’t have that. I applied for a lot of roles and got a few interviews in which they’d always ask me, “What experience do you have?” The feedback I got was always that I wasn’t experienced enough.
I looked on the website at opportunities and although I didn’t then know about Routes into Glyndebourne, I read that it was a chance for people to gain experience so I thought, “go for it”. I’d been getting a bit annoyed about having to have so much previous work history and when I saw that this ad didn’t say anything about that, I took it as a good sign.
In my interview I was probed about my time at university and my knowledge of the area I’d be working in and I was able to explain my degree and what I’d done – I think that’s how I got the job. Glyndebourne didn’t want two or three years’ experience, they just wanted someone to train so I’d encourage other people in the same position to apply for a Routes into Glyndebourne post because it’s a chance to show that you have the knowledge and just need an opportunity.
I’m learning lots of practical things; things which will be useful in any job I go on to. The three people I work with all have their own areas of strength and I get to work with each of them so they’re all teaching me their different areas of expertise, from hardware and software to business applications. I’m getting a really wide range of experience which will help a lot when I come to look for my next permanent job.
Since I’ve been here I’ve mainly been working on the transition to Google Apps. Obviously I knew what Google was, and I’d heard of things like Google Drive and Google Sites, but I’d never actually used them. Now I feel completely comfortable with them and as Google is taking over the world it’s good to have that knowledge!
I’m really appreciative that I was appointed. Even though it’s only a one year contract, it’s a first step on the career ladder and will give me the experience I need to have a much better chance of getting a job when I leave. I’d definitely recommend it. If I hadn’t come across this I don’t know what I’d be doing today but I’d probably have been looking to get work experience, perhaps through voluntary work, to boost my CV. The advantage of this is that it’s paid. It’s such a nice place to work as well, everyone’s lovely and I feel really comfortable here.
Yasmin Howell was recruited through Routes into Glyndebourne in September 2014 to work as a Website Research Student in the Box Office. Her main responsibility was to support the development of the Glyndebourne website by researching new functions and features to improve the customer experience online.
At the time of her appointment Yasmin was two years into a Digital Media degree at Brighton University and keen to do a work placement to gain hands-on experience to supplement her academic learning.
Glyndebourne has good links with local universities including Brighton, and it was through their careers office that Yasmin learned about the Routes into Glyndebourne position. Recognising it offered just the type of opportunity she was looking for, Yasmin applied successfully for the role.
During her placement she was asked to examine the usability and functionality of the customer website and suggest improvements to make the ticket booking experience easier. In addition, she spent time in Box Office, honing her customer service skills and learning about the Glyndebourne audience.
The experience has boosted Yasmin’s confidence and improved both her knowledge of digital media and her understanding of how it can support core business functions. Working in a professional environment has brought to life what Yasmin was learning at university, demonstrating how it can be applied in a real world setting.
Before the placement Yasmin was most interested in digital content but her experience at Glyndebourne has led her to consider a career in website usability and testing, and she intends to look for work in this field once she graduates.
For now Yasmin has returned to Brighton University to complete her degree but she hopes to return to Glyndebourne next summer as an usher or front-of-house assistant.
The success of Yasmin’s placement, during which she contributed to an improved customer experience on our website, has led Glyndebourne to offer the role again this year. Glyndebourne has appointed another university student to work at the organisation for one year with a focus on other areas of digital development.
Apollo Musoke was recruited through Routes into Glyndebourne in September 2015 to work as a Website Research Student in the Box Office. His main responsibilities were to work on various digital and software based projects relating to the customer website and support customer service activity in the Box Office.
I joined Glyndebourne on a year-long placement after completing the second year of my undergraduate degree in Business Information Systems at the University of Brighton.
Although I didn’t know anything about opera, Glyndebourne gave me a chance to gain hands-on work experience in a large organisation. I was appointed to the role of website research intern and had a chance to work with a number of different software applications including Tessitura, the Customer Relationship Management system used by Glyndebourne.
During my time at Glyndebourne, I was involved in various projects such as the introduction of a new telephone system, for which I set up a user guide for company members. I was also involved in testing the system before it went live and in training other members of the Box Office on how use it. I also helped to test a new version of the CRM system ahead of an upgrade.
Working at Glyndebourne this past year helped me understand how to apply the skills that I learned on my course in a real-world working environment. I worked closely with colleagues who did system setup, which gave me insight into what it takes to become a database administrator, a field I’m keenly interested in.
I’m grateful to Glyndebourne and to the Box Office team for all the help and guidance they provided during my time with them – I learned a lot from them all.
John Delaney was recruited through Routes into Glyndebourne in October 2015 to work in the Glyndebourne gardening team.
I’ve always been really interested in horticulture as a hobby, but it was only recently I decided on a career change to start working in this area.
I completed my horticultural studies at Plumpton College last year but had very limited work experience as a gardener. That is when the opportunity came up to join the team at Glyndebourne for one year through the Routes programme.
I was delighted to be offered the position and have learned so much from Kevin Martin (Head Gardener) and the team. I love coming to work every day and continue to develop both my hands-on skills and my knowledge of plants and wildlife.
I’ve been involved in a wide range of gardening projects as we worked through the winter and into the spring getting the gardens ready for the summer Festival – it’s fascinating to see how the gardens change with the seasons. I’ve done everything from sweeping leaves and cleaning pots to driving the tractors and using power tools so the work is never boring. There’s always something to do!
In addition to the gardens I’ve enjoyed attending some of the operas and learning more about Glyndebourne’s heritage and history. It’s truly a special place to work.I also learned about working as part of a team, something I’d not done before and have really enjoyed.
When the time comes to move on from the Routes programme, I’ll be looking to continue my career in gardening and horticulture and feel my experience here will really help me secure my next job. I’d love to stay at Glyndebourne but feel confident I can secure a gardening job elsewhere as well now. I’ve gone from having almost no experience outside of my college course to a wealth of knowledge and skills developed here – this will stand me in good stead going forward.
Charlie Howsego joined Glyndebourne through the Routes into Glyndebourne programme in January 2016. He works as a Trainee Fly Operative.
“The Fly team are part of the wider stage crew and we spend most of our time high up above the stage dealing with all the equipment, light bars and props that are ‘flown’ in above the stage during a show.
Having worked in stage crews at other venues, as well as briefly at Glyndebourne last year, I was very keen to learn the art form that is flying work. It is technical, physical work and requires a high degree of concentration at times to make sure everything happens as it should and at just the right moment.
Fly work is very niche and not easy to get experience in, so when the opportunity to be a trainee came up I was very excited. No other venues seem to offer a role where you can learn Flying work on the job like this.
I am lucky enough to be working with a very experienced team and enjoy both the job and the environment. I am looking forward to going out on Tour in the autumn and learning how to use the Flying systems in other venues.
Beyond my time on the Routes programme, I hope to either be able to join the team here on a permanent basis or use my experience to work as a Flyman for another performance venue.”
Katie Jordan has been working at Glyndebourne since January 2016 in the Routes scheme as a Trainee Wig Technician.
Most of my time is spent learning and assisting in Production Wigs, where the making takes place. The wigs we make are used on stage for our performers.
The process of wig making is challenging, complex work but I have really enjoyed developing the techniques I gained from my degree in Media Make-up and learning from experienced colleagues in a real working theatre environment.
During my time at Glyndebourne I have had fantastic guidance from my colleagues – they have shared their knowledge so that I can develop mine. I have learnt a variety of skills such as re-fronting wigs, adding nape extensions, making alterations so the wig fits a performer perfectly, gaining more practice knotting on HD lace and learning how to create the perfect hair line.
I have enjoyed understanding the importance of hair colour and being able to match hair colours to create the chosen design for a wig or postiche. Finishing knotting a full wig from start to finish was an exciting moment! It allowed me to really understand the knotting process and how knotting in different directions can help create a particular style. I have noticed my speed of knotting has increased and I am gradually becoming more confident.
Besides gaining a wide array of new skills and understanding of wigs, working at Glyndebourne has increased my overall awareness of theatre and what it takes to put on world class performances. I have found seeing my work live on stage a rewarding and exciting experience.
I think having the opportunity to undertake this role for ten months through the Routes scheme has been amazing and will massively help me secure my next job in a wigs department.
I would recommend anyone looking to gain more experience in their chosen field to apply for suitable Routes positions at Glyndebourne!