​How An Internship Program Helped Sloop Find its Leaders

An unexpected benefit has come from the Sloop Open Waters internship program that the brewery started in 2020. When chatting with Brewer about the program that is helping diversify the craft beer industry, Sloop’s Director of Operations Alyssa McAuley shared how having an intern go from department ​to department in their three-month training has helped identify the teachers and leaders within the New York brewery.

During exit interviews with interns, McAuley said that hearing the feedback of who was the highlight of that person’s training experience has been an important realization.

“That’s been super helpful and satisfying for some awesome employees here,” she said. “[We are] identifying some incredible trainers that we have that maybe haven’t always been utilized.

“Some of our interns have been drawn to one specific person’s style of learning or teaching. And those are things that you wouldn’t typically be able to just find in the normal course of business because not everybody has a hand in training someone. So it’s really been kind of a delight, but also a great insight to learn more about how everybody teaches differently and how certain people are able to connect better with others on a fundamental learning basis.”

READ MORE: How Sloop is Setting up Diversity Interns for Career Options

McAuley said they work to sit down with interns at the end of each section and it’s helped tweak the program.

“I think they’ve also helped us apply those conversations into ideas on a larger scale or basis,” McAuley said. An example used was that many interns would like more time with the cellarman aspect of the program.

“​T​hat’s something that we can take now and apply to any future cellarman​ we end up training because we have a really big promote-from-within initiative here​,” McAuley said. ​”​So knowing that it takes longer to learn that segment, and it’s tried and true because now four people have said that to us going through it, that’s really valuable information to have.

​”​They all have these individualized ideas of how we can make this better, or more efficient, and they often do translate into our normal course of business.​”

Another idea ​that has come from the program is​ taking videos of the actual processes​ to be used in future training for employees.

“Sometimes you can only do one action so many times until you get it​,” McAuley said​. ​”​But if you’re able then to go home, watch it and then come back to work the next time you’re doing it refreshed with that knowledge that is super beneficial.

​”That was like a really awesome piece of feedback that we were trying to implement here.​”​

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