PIPS student profile
PIPS Internship Organisation Name
Three Brother Brewing Co.
When deciding on your internship, what did you want to experience and what did you hope to gain from that experience?
I mainly wanted to experience going into a very different environment and working with a greater range of people with different backgrounds. I knew this would aid the development of my communication skills and increase my confidence in approaching new situations, solving a range of novel problems. Additionally, as someone interested in the brewing trade and with experience in the food & beverage industry, I wanted to learn more about the processes involved and the industry in general. I believe the internship was a success overall on these fronts.
Did you get the experience you were expecting and did you achieve the personal development you had hoped to make?
Yes, I actually think I got more out of the experience than I originally expected. The overall brewing experience was a lot of fun, definitely harder physically than I might have anticipated but that was a great challenge. In terms of personal development, I feel I got really involved in all aspects of the business from production to marketing and sales; the sales experience pushed me a little out of my comfort zone and I definitely feel more comfortable approaching new people now. The project we initially decided on for the placement changed considerably, and I had to develop some more general commercial problem solving skills in order to really add value to the brewery. I felt this was a particularly influential experience for me, as I think more about the ‘big picture’ now and can structure larger and more complex problems more comfortably.
Did you discover anything about yourself or make any achievements that you were not expecting?
I believe I have increased my workload from day-to-day after this experience, working much more efficiently. Personally, I believe I have become far more patient across the internship after working with a greater range of people from different backgrounds and capabilities. In terms of my own confidence, I think this has increased and I am more comfortable and a different and novel environment; I feel more capable of assessing new situations, adapting to new environments and solving new problems.
Has the internship made you feel differently about potential career options and has it helped to put the skills from research into a broader context?
Certainly has put my research skills and project management abilities into a broader context as I was able to pick up the required techniques quickly and adapt to the new environment. I was later capable of managing other people’s time stepping up to effectively run the brewery floor and support staff. The internship has definitely assisted me in whittling down the options for my career after the PhD. Having essentially gone into this brewery with a scientific background, specialising in microbiology, I have realised that science consulting is a great option for me moving forward. I really enjoyed working with the directors of the brewery to identify areas where my specialism was most impactful, but also to working through more general business problems with the team in order to improve the day-to-day operations. This experience highlighted that I am not limited to the niche that my PhD has been focussed on, rather, my skillset is very much applicable to a wide range of problems, especially in a commercial environment.