Becoming an Apprentice

Hello everyone! First, I would like to say that becoming an OCBA apprentice is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has molded and solidified my passion for Entomology and helped me get more connected with the Bee Club at my high school, East Chapel Hill High School. 

With that being said, I would like to talk about my experience of becoming an apprentice. 

I should explain that I’m the type of person who overthinks and contemplates questions for a long time as my greatest desire is to give a deep and genuine answer and as a result, completing the application proved to be much more difficult than it should have been, haha! Sure, the questions were fairly basic and not too complicated, but in my mind I believed they required great introspection and deep thinking about my character, it was literally frying my brain. I remember the times where I kept stressing about whether or not my answers were good enough, but as the deadline approached, with 2 weeks to the due date, I was able to pull myself together and write an honest and down to earth application.

Then there was the waiting. The waiting period made me the most anxious. Since this is my first time applying for an apprenticeship, LET ALONE at a beekeeping organization, I was constantly worrying about what would happen. I wondered if what I wrote was good enough and what gave me even more anxiety is the fact that the apprenticeship program accepts only 2 people who might apply from the ENTIRE county. 

When I got an email from Lisa, the apprenticeship coordinator, that I had been chosen as one of the six finalists and scheduled for an interview, my heart was pounding and I had all kinds of anxiety. Sure, this was a huge blessing, but it also meant a huge possibility of screwing up my chances. Again, I’m the type of person to overdo or over think every single thing I do, so I began formulating more answers than I might ever possibly need. When it came time for the interview, everyone was so calm and friendly and at that point, I knew that I overestimated how intense the interview was. I remember feeling kind of embarrassed that I had spent so much time worrying about different possibilities and outcomes that I stumbled answering their simpler questions. However, I was extremely lucky that I didn’t take my preparation for granted because one of the questions was “Why do you want to become a beekeeper,” which is hard to answer on the spot. When the interview was over, I remember feeling overwhelmed. I would say that the biggest lesson I learned from this was to keep my answers clear and concise and to work on communicating ideas rather than spitting them out on autopilot. 

During my evening walk with my family after the interview, I kept talking to my parents about the possibilities of me being rejected and feeling overall miserable. However when we got home, there was a message from Lisa asking me to call her. I did and through the phone call, I found out that I got selected! I was so happy and my mom was freaking out as well. I couldn’t believe that I truly had done it! This was especially great since that would mean that I could contribute more to my high school Bee Club and it is also special to me as my maternal grandmother was a commercial beekeeper in Korea.