Meet the team: Grace Nelder

Asking someone what they want to be when they grow up can lead to worried looks, a racing pulse and sweaty palms. While many people have a rough idea of where they want to be in the working world, there are so many options out there, it can be a daunting thought.

At the Wales Millennium Centre, we offer several placements and work experience opportunities to help those interested in the Arts figure out where they want to be. Whether they’re still in education, or just starting off in their careers, we love bringing new talent into the building.

As part of our series of blogs where we dig deeper into the roles of those who work at the Centre, we caught up with Grace Nelder (Placement Student, PR and Communications) to find out what it’s like behind the scenes.

Tell us a little about yourself…

 I’m studying a Masters in Arts Management at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It’s a one year course and I am currently undertaking a professional placement at Wales Millennium Centre. I’m originally from Plymouth but studied undergrad in Nottingham and have lived in Spain before!

How did you get your placement? What was the process like for you?

As part of the course, we have to do three placements. Two internal and one external. My internal ones at RWCMD were with Junior Conservatoire and Development. For the external placement, we could select to be placed from a number of partner organisations of the College. I opted for the Centre as my first choice and National Dance Company Wales as my second. I know there were a number of people who also wanted to come here from my class so I was very lucky to be placed here.

What made you want to go into commercial theatre and have you learned anything about the industry since being in the Centre?

 For me, I love musicals. I’m a confessed musical aficionado. The sparkle and the glitter just gets me every time. So that is my main draw to commercial theatre. As a dancer myself (probably making my debut when I was five as a Baby Snowflake in some pantomime) we went to the theatre lots when I was growing up. I’ve always been involved in theatre. It wasn’t until I was in my final year of University, working with Nottingham Playhouse, that I realised I could have a career in the arts. So the Masters at Royal Welsh, after my undergrad degree in History and Spanish, seemed like (and I can testify, was and is) the right step for me.

I have been here at the Centre for three weeks so far and I am loving every minute! I’m so busy – which is great – and learning loads all the time. I’m mainly with PR and Communications but have been able to shadow other departments, and understand how the team works together which has been a fantastic opportunity for me.

Grace Nelder WMCTell us about an average day in PR and Communications in the Wales Millennium Centre? 

I don’t think an average day exists! I’m doing everything from researching influencers, to producing and sharing all-staff information literature to planning press nights. It really is go-go-go. As I said, I’ve been with other departments also so I’m getting a wealth of information and knowledge.

Have you found yourself a mentor, and if so, who?

 I’m working closely with Jayne Smith at the Centre who is Head of Communications. I wouldn’t say she is mentoring me but she is certainly looking out for me, and making sure that I get the best experience possible which is amazing and I am so grateful for. Everyone in the team though, are so lovely, that I have chatted with lots of different people from different departments and they are more than happy to impart their knowledge of their day-to-day activity and contribution! Although it may seem daunting joining a new organisation, at no point have I felt unwelcome or that I couldn’t ask questions.

What’s your favourite thing about having the opportunity to work in the Centre?

My favourite thing is that I am truly in the thick of it! I really love that everyone works so closely together and everyone is really passionate about the work that they do and the difference that it makes. And I get to share in it all and help too! It is definitely one of the best parts of my course.

Finally, what was the last thing you binged on Netflix?

A Spanish TV series called Velvet, which is about a prestigious fashion store on Gran Vía, Madrid, España. It’s set in the late 1950’s so the costumes and décor are beautiful!

 For more information on vacancies at the Wales Millennium Centre, please see here.