Last year The TREE Program provided the opportunity for a selected few Year 10 (now 11) KWS Students to be able to experience an internship for 10 weeks. They attended a wide range of local business’ once a week. The process of securing the internship provided the students with a handful of useful skills for use in the workforce; a purposeful cover letter and unnerving interview.
I interviewed Harriet O’Brien to find out more about her experiences undergoing the TREE Internship and got her truthful opinion on her time with some friendly alpacas.
What is your name and what year are you in at KWS?
Harriet O’Brien, Year 11
Boarder or day bug?
Where do you come from?
Why did you apply for the internship?
I thought it was a very good opportunity to experience what it is like in a work place and to explore my options for after school.
Where has your internship taken place at?
What are the main jobs and responsibilities you had to take on at Adagio Mills?
I got to produce my own Alpaca fleece; putting it through a different process every week from washing, to dehairing, to carding, to pin-drafting, to spinning yarn and then finally spinning it into balls.
What did you accomplish by finishing the internship?
In finishing my internship, I believe I have learnt workplace skills which I hadn’t acquired already. I also gained an extensive knowledge of the wool milling process and why all the steps are needed. I also improved my ability to be able to work with others but also independently; something very useful for my future plans in the workforce.
What’s the biggest challenge you came across?
I think my biggest challenge was when a process didn’t go to plan or the machine jammed up and I had to fix it. It was a hassle but also a good learning process to comprehend that the production line doesn’t always go according to plan; like farming.
How were you able to overcome this?
I was able to overcome this by asking the experienced employees for help on how to fix the machine and correct my work. After having been taught how to do this I was able to do it on my own.
From learning new skills from this internship how can you incorporate them into your everyday life?
When carrying out jobs or doing tasks I have been more confident in seeking help from others and been able to work things out by myself with more ease than prior to this experience.
Modern society evolves around technology everyday; how is your business starting to become or already evolved?
Adagio Mills is a niche market for alpaca fleece processing and uses very specialised machines that no other milling companies in the country has. I think they are ahead of the rest of businesses similar to theirs. By using this technology, they are able to get things down faster and quicker, meaning that more and more fleeces can be produced.
Were you contributing to this process?
Yes, every day at Adagio I used technology, I used their highly specialized machines every week. I would encourage you to visit their workshop if you get the chance, it is fascinating.
Would you recommend this internship to the year below? And why?
I would definitely recommend this to students in the year below because I found it a very valuable experience and I believe it is going to help me in the future. The skills you will learn will put you so far ahead of others and give you the best chance at success. However, I would only recommend this to students who are willing to put the effort into the experience and get the most out of it. It is not for someone that isn’t 100% interested or just intrigued to be part of the experience and opportunity.
I thank Hattie O’Brien for taking the time to tell me about her eye-opening internship in the local workforce. For those students who are intrigued and want to know more about this opportunity, notices will be sent out to Year 10s in Term 3 by the TREE Team.