Bentspoke offers bespoke internship experience


5 minute read

Jackson Wiebe from The Australian National University (ANU) College of Business and Economics (CBE) is the recipient of the undergraduate CBE Outstanding Intern of the Year award for Semester 1, 2022.

The award recognises the hard work and initiative that students put into their internships. Up to four students are presented with the title and an A$500 prize every year.

“Receiving a prize for the work that I undertook in Semester 1, 2022 was a validating experience leading up to my graduation,” says Jackson.

Jackson graduated from ANU at the end of Semester 2, 2022, with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business, and a Bachelor of Music majoring in Composition for Film and Video Games. He completed a student-sourced internship in Semester 1, 2022.

CBE offers two internship frameworks: CBE-sourced and student-sourced. The student-sourced experience allows students to take the lead in the application process, one that mimics real-world job-seeking steps.

Jackson developed a passion for the Australian independent craft-beer industry while working casually at Capital Brewery and BentSpoke Brewing during his studies. Since completing his internship with BentSpoke Brewing, he has become a fulltime Marketing Coordinator with the business. In his last semester of study, Jackson also took on the expansion and development of BentSpoke’s e-commerce function.

“Having the opportunity to apply my theoretical skills in a practical environment and in an industry in which I am deeply interested in, has given me the confidence to apply the technical skills that I have learnt at university, with a level of creativity and self-confidence,” Jackson says.

In this interview, Jackson talks about his experience and how it led to a full-time role, and gives his perspective on why it’s important to think outside the box.

Q. Why did you decide to add an internship to your university experience? Can you give us a highlight from it?

As I neared the end of my studies, I began to feel confident in my ability to apply the theoretical concepts I had been studying in practise. When I first saw the advertisement for CBE Internships, I immediately thought it would be an amazing opportunity to apply my knowledge with the guidance of a university supervisor and the support of fellow students undertaking the course. Being able to learn through practise was an extremely invaluable experience that bolstered my confidence in my own abilities to move into the workforce post-graduation.

One highlight from my internship experience was being able to exceed the parameters of my initial project proposal and contribute meaningful change in the form of new processes and procedures, which delivered tangible efficiency and environmental improvements for the business.

Knowing the work I had done was setting up the company’s growth in the e-commerce sector gave me an immense sense of fulfilment. Ultimately, this is what led me into being offered a full-time position within the business. Now, I get to see through many of the longer-term strategies I had developed for the company.

Q. BentSpoke Brewing Co, a boutique brewery, might at first seem like an out-of-the-box choice for a CBE internship. Why did you choose to intern at this business?

Prior to the commencement of my CBE internship, I had worked as a front-of-brewery casual and duty manager at BentSpoke Brewing. The passion of the business to facilitate workforce excellence through vertical growth is what allowed me to develop my skillset in hospitality, and I was hopeful to be given the opportunity to practise my university learnings in a work environment in which I was comfortable and in an industry in which I am extremely passionate. BentSpoke has a clear brand identity and an excellent range of product offerings that I understand deeply through my prior work with them, and I was eager to apply this knowledge in combination with my theoretical marketing education. While I knew I would be able to learn lots from the business, I also knew that given its relatively small size, I would be able to make significant contributions to their operations.

Q. Can you tell us how you utilised your studies during your internship?

Studying a flexible double degree in Commerce and Music at ANU has given me the opportunity to exercise both my creative and academic sensibilities. During my internship, I was able to apply marketing-related theories to help develop product offerings and create brand strategies for the promotion of new beers or brand campaigns. Understanding theoretical concepts that I learned throughout my studies enabled me to offer solutions to certain issues that the business faced – specifically inventory management and communications. The creative component of my degree also gave me the confidence to offer input into new designs and social-media campaigns, as well as directing the freelance photographers and designers that we engage with.

Q. You now work fulltime with BentSpoke Brewing Co in marketing. What does a typical work week look like for you?

My role at BentSpoke is really flexible and always full of new and exciting projects. In the ‘everyday’, I fulfil e-commerce orders and work to assist on upcoming beer or event launches. I’m also constantly chipping away at long-term projects for the company, such as the expansion of our e-commerce function to create new and exciting offerings for customers that will make it a viable and self-sufficient department within the business.

Recently, I have been working on our upcoming summer campaign and the launch of our newest beer ‘How’s it Gosen?’ which involves copywriting for press releases, blog posts and EDMs. I also get to work at cool local and interstate events, such as Enlighten Festival and the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS).

Q. Why would you recommend an internship to other CBE students?

While many students looking at the CBE internships might feel comfortable applying their knowledge in a more obvious work environment, I would encourage people to expand their view on the applicability of their skillsets and seek to combine their passion with their study. Being able to work at a boutique brewery has given me the opportunity to learn about more than just the marketing function of the business. Liaising closely with the company’s finance and sales divisions has given me insight into potential alternate career paths within the industry that I may be interested in, which I might not have been aware of otherwise.

Applications for Student-sourced internships in Semester 1, 2023 close Friday 3 February, 2023. Click here to find out more about the application process.

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.