Shelby Conner, almost 24-year old, has come all the way from Blue Ridge, GA, USA to participate in our cafe ministry internship. She was more than thrilled to add Australia to her list of visited countries, and has adapted quite easily to the climate here. Prior to coming to Brisbane, Shelby worked as an Event Manager in the wedding industry but has long had a desire to pursue coffee.
What did your first day of the internship look like?
I arrived early in the morning on what happened to be Kalli’s birthday. From the airport we went to the YWAM base for me to change and then off to The Fort for a coffee (I should have expected no less from a cafe internship, right?). That afternoon I was supposed to get started right away with my server training, but unfortunately jet-lag got the better of me and I ended up having to sleep off a stomach bug. Later that night, I got welcomed into the family by attending a big Italian birthday dinner for Kalli--for as long as my eyes would stay open before crashing again. It was quite the exciting first day!
On a normal day how many cups of coffee do you drink?
2-3 is very normal for me. If it is any less than that, I am trying to be on my best behaviour.
Have you picked up any barista “quirks” since participating in this internship?
I often catch myself carefully analysing baristas at other cafes making my drink. Not to critique them, but simply because I want to pick up as many tips or tricks that I can. Also, after being a barista I will never again underestimate how hard they work! It’s really not as easy as it looks.
What is the one type of coffee or piece of coffee equipment you would splurge on?
I had the awesome experience of being able to roast my own coffee beans whilst being here, so a personal sized roaster is definitely on my radar for future purchase.
What is your favourite cafe in Brisbane and why?
Lost Boys is an organic café in the city that the fairy tale-lover in me cannot resist visiting. As the name suggests, it's got a pretty sweet Neverland vibe going on.
Where is the next place you would like to travel to?
Ireland and the Philippines have both been on my heart lately for perhaps a season in the future, but more immediately I would love to visit New Zealand before I leave this side of the world!
What is one thing you learned during your internship that you plan on implementing in your future?
I have learned how to really embrace my uniqueness. I’ve learned that we all have strengths and weaknesses and that they are not something to be ashamed of, but rather to be celebrated--in ourselves and in others. This truth can be useful in selecting a work team of complementary-diverse people, as well as in personal relationships. It will not only help me in my interactions with others, but also in my growth as an individual. There is another level of connectedness with the Creator that comes from understanding how He created us. And I am sure I will see my uniqueness played out in my future endeavours.
What is your favourite coffee-accompanying activity?
It would probably be easier to pick something I don’t do while drinking coffee, but I will have to say reading. Nothing goes together quite like books and coffee.
What is next for you after the completion of the internship?
As of now the plan is to return home and continue pursuing coffee as a ministry tool. In what capacity, of that I am not yet sure, but I am trusting that God will reveal the next piece of the puzzle to me at the proper time. So stay tuned!
Do you have any advice for someone considering doing this internship?
Do it. I was so nervous about making the decision to leave Georgia and come here to YWAM Brisbane (it took me about 4 months to decide), and now I could not imagine my life if I hadn’t! Someone described this place to me as a greenhouse, and I don’t think that could be more accurate. I have learned so much about myself and about cafe management, and I have grown tremendously as a person and business woman. YWAM and The Meeting Place Café cultivate a community that helps enable us all to step boldly into the calling God has placed on our lives.
If you are interested in learning more about The Meeting Place Café or our internship program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to find out more!
What We're Listening To: Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood
What We're Drinking: Cappuccino on Almond Milk
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