A Work Experience Diary by Katy Sharpe
University of Kent Work Experience Placement
As a Social Anthropology student who has previously worked on projects with my department into farming (50 years, 50 stories), alongside a history of living within the Kent countryside, a two week work experience placement with Romney Marsh Wools seemed a natural fit.
A small, family run business based in Aldington, Romney Marsh Wools was established in 2008, diversifying their sheep-farm into what it is today: a thriving producer of luxury throws, scarves, lanolin-based toiletries, and even cuddly toys and stationery!
I applied for the placement through the University of Kent’s CV Competition, and in the midst of exam revision, I was delighted with the news that I had won.
On my first day there, I was introduced to Kristina, the owner, and Emma, both of whom make up the entirety of the office staff (I did say it was a small business!). This proved to be invaluable throughout my work experience, as without the close support of Emma and Kristina, I would not have had the experience that I did. I carried out a variety of tasks assisting with social media marketing, such as scheduling Facebook posts, writing newsletters for their email list, and updating product details on their website, to name a few! An additional bonus to my time there were the two lambs on site that Emma was looking after. Malcolm and Levi greeted me daily with their little ‘baaas’ (inevitably hoping I had a bottle of milk!). On my final day, I was lucky enough to be able to have my photo taken with Malcolm!
During my second week there, I had the opportunity to go and observe Paul, Kristina’s husband, shearing the sheep. It was extremely interesting to watch, and Paul is undoubtedly talented at what he does: the awards dotted around the office of sheep shearing competitions he’s won, are testament to this.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, and due to the small size of the business, I really felt that I was able to contribute fully, as well as being able to see everything that is involved in maintaining such a company - and it’s more than you think! During the placement, I improved my current skills, and learnt several new ones along the way.
Kristina, Emma, Paul, and all the show representatives work incredibly hard, and I have them to thank for making this work experience as memorable as it was, and the University of Kent Careers and Employability Service for making it possible.
Written by Katy Sharpe, student of Social Anthropology at University of Kent