My Monkeybiz Internship: Given the opportunity, I would do it again.
Peace is a final year student at Boston City Campus and Business College (South Africa) studying towards a Diploma in Business Management. As part of her studies, she had to complete 60 hours of Work Integrated Learning in the form of an Internship. According to her, two weeks was never going to be enough to learning anything valuable. Therefore, she took it upon herself to extend her Monkeybiz internship to two months, three days a week. She looks back on her experience.
I have been living in the northern suburbs for the past four years. My life, school, and social life have been based here. Every day I would admire the beauty that is Table Mountain from afar. When I saw an internship opportunity through Roots with Monkeybiz in the colorful Bo-Kaap, I jumped at the opportunity.
My first day at Monkeybiz
I was very nervous on my first day. I made sure I was on time, I was at the office at 07:30. Lucky for me, my supervisor Kathy has the store open at 07:00. Kathy took me under her wing and showed me around and introduced me to everyone. I did not do much on my first day as I was given the day just to know my way around the office and the shop below. Sakhi, the store manager, showed me how to use the system and how to approach customers as they walked in.
My role and tasks
Monkeybiz is fairly a small organization; everyone does everything, from helping at the store, stock-taking, cleaning the sink and helping out on the market day and much more. Everyone was hands-on, I loved that about the organization. During my stay at Monkeybiz, I worked closely with Kathy (Sales and Marketing). I have learned a great deal from her on the dos and don’ts of dispatch.
One of the many tasks I did for her department was to contact different courier companies to get the best quotes on packages going abroad. These packages of art pieces that have been bought from the online store or simply by a walk-in customer that requested for shipment. I was also responsible for creating packing slips for packing. This allowed me to work with Cashier, the Studio Manager, who was responsible for packing all pieces for shipment. When a package leaves the studio, I was responsible for sending waybill to the customer for tracking the whereabouts of the order. I would also track the order alongside the customer.
Working at the shop and on market days
Working at the shop below was one of the tasks I enjoyed the most. When customers walked in, I would give them a three-minute-long presentation on the organization; this has helped me with my confidence and communication skill. I would also take credit and cash transactions on the system, and help cash-up at the end of a shift.
Market days are hectic. They happen twice on the first two Tuesdays of every month. I was fortunate to attend four are these market days where group representatives bring in bags full of beaded items on behalf of the other artists. My duty on this day was to record all the products brought in by the Group leaders on a spreadsheet on Excel. I would also record all the orders of the day for the next upcoming market day. On my last market day, I got the opportunity to work with Odile, the Financial Manager, in the finance department. My role here was to sort purchase sheets into the specific groups for commissioning purposes. Each group was then captured onto the P.O.S (point-of-sale) system to update stock quality.
I was also entrusted with Database Management, where I was responsible for adding new artists to the register and giving them a number. This allowed me to work closely with Mathaps, the Community Director. I would give a new artist a number and had to confirm with her whether the beader does exist on the register or not.
Gaining Skills outside College
Due to my stay at Monkeybiz, I now have valuable experience under my belt. I was able to gain skills that I could not gain at College, skills such as multitasking, communication, dealing with deadlines and much more. Given the opportunity, I would do it again.