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Why you want to be a part of our Agribusiness Internship programme

  • March 27, 2019
  • 3 min read

Every summer, Fonterra takes on two Agribusiness Interns to give them a feel for the business and what it’s like to be on the ground supporting our farmers.

The programme is designed to help young people who know they want to work in dairy but aren’t sure where. This year, Megan Robertson and James Atkinson joined Fonterra as interns and we’ve asked them a few questions about their time with us. 

Megan Robertson

Meet Megan Robertson

Hailing from a dairy farm on the West Coast of the South Island, Megan Robertson knows a thing or two about dairy.

Based out of our Longburn Farm Source store in the Central Districts, Megan was responsible for delivering a project that involved investigating the current 90-day planning tools. She developed a new online tool for store managers and staff to improve planning ease and efficiency. 

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

“The variety within the role made every day exciting. Having the opportunity to take ownership of my calendar allowed the me to plan my weeks around my particular interests. The Farm Source team is extremely welcoming and took the time to personally develop my understanding about the part they play within Fonterra.”

 

What would you say to someone else considering an internship with Fonterra?

“Absolutely give the Agribusiness Internship a go, it will make the transition into the workforce less daunting at the end of your degree. The internship is a unique experience where you can get exposure to so many aspects of the co-operative. It is an opportunity that will only come around once, and it’s a chance to apply some learnings from university.”

 

What’s one thing you will most remember from the internship?

“The importance that Fonterra’s Farm Source team places on developing their employees. Training days, online learnings and development plans allow employees to continually grow and strengthen their skill set.”

The internship is a unique experience where you can get exposure to so many aspects of the co-operative. It is an opportunity that will only come around once, and it’s a chance to apply some learnings from university.

Megan Robertson, Fonterra Agribusiness Intern

James Atkinson

Meet James Atkinson

Born and bred in the dairying region that is the Waikato, it’s no surprise James Atkinson grew up on a dairy farm.

Studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University, James was based out of the Fonterra Leeston Farm Source store. He was tasked with creating a template that helps Technical Sales Representatives, Sustainable Dairying Managers and Area Managers know what farmers want throughout the season. 

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

“Being out in the field, shadowing sustainable dairy advisors, area managers, technical sales reps and Agronomy (crops and soils) specialists was an awesome experience to get an understanding on what farmers are doing in the Canterbury area. The Farm Source project was also a great and challenging experience to get involved in. The project allowed me to give solutions to practical issues in the Farm Source business and where my ideas could be used to better farmer relationships and businesses.”

 

What would you say to someone else considering an internship with Fonterra?

“A great way to develop your knowledge within the dairy sector by getting out on farm, getting stuck in and helping out with advisors and reps. A range of different opportunities throughout the three months and support from many people was the best part of the internship for me.”

 

What surprised you most about the role – something you didn’t expect or know before you did your internship?

“The opportunities and range of work Farm Source can do for farmers through support and advice. Farmers are given many opportunities through the Farm Source function which in the end helps them to operate their business more efficiently. Things like the Tiaki Sustainable Dairying programme which helps to create Farm Environmental Plans for farmers, providing them with useful insights about their farm so they can be more environmentally conscious.”

The project allowed me to give solutions to practical issues in the Farm Source business and where my ideas could be used to better farmer relationships and businesses.

James Atkinson, Fonterra Agribusiness Intern

Looking to join the Agribusiness programme? 

Applications open in July.