Costa’s Tasmanian berry harvest is proving a boon for a group of university students who are using their summer break to earn money for their studies and gain valuable experience.
Sarah McKay is going into her third year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and is in her second season at the Costa 9 Mile blueberry farm. Working as a Quality Champion, she said the work was a great way to put what she was learning at university into practice.
“I did a uni trip to Costa in my first year and spoke to a couple of the horticulturists. That’s how I found out about it. I absolutely love working here. It’s so nice meeting people from all different countries and making the connection between what I study at university and the farm,” Sarah said.
She said she was hoping to complete her Honours project with Costa.
“I’d like to become a horticulturist. I like being hands on and this is a great environment.”
For twins Emily and Laura Sutton, from Port Sorrell, a job supervising at the Wrights Lane raspberry farm is the perfect summer job.
Heading into their fourth year of a physiotherapy degree at Charles Sturt University, the pair has spent the last few seasons working at Costa.
“It’s a good summer time job. It is really close to home and it works in well with our profession. We are working with a diverse range of people. It’s good experience and it helps with our communication skills. It is hard work and long hours, but we earn good money which helps us save for uni,” Laura and Emily said.
William Hogge, who is studying medicine at UTAS, has returned for his second season at Costa.
“I always like to be doing something and this keeps me busy all day. You meet so many people and make connections around the world. I am from Burnie so working here during the summer is really good,” Will said.
Oliver Kershaw, an engineering science student at UTAS, has also returned for his third season as a harvest.
“This is a perfect summer job,” he said.
Matt Tsai, originally from Taiwan, worked with Costa in New South Wales and in Tasmania during his working holiday. Now he is studying a Master of Information Technology at UTAS and spends his holidays picking.
“During the year I want to focus on my studies, so now I can make money during the summer for my study fees.”