Students work at restaurants during the school year and in the summer to gain job experience and earn some extra spending money
While many sophomores and juniors work a job during their summers, only a few work during the school year, and even fewer work regular restaurant shifts. Senior Sasha Shenk would be one such student. Shenk began working for McDonald’s during the summer of her junior year.
“I wanted a job [because] I wanted to know what it is like to work before college. I wanted the experience. I also feel like, at U Prep, we are kind of in a bubble, so this was a good chance to deal with the general population,” Shenk said.
Shenk is interested in working in global health so, for her, working in a restaurant like McDonald’s was a good way to get used to dealing with people.
“McDonald’s is a place where you are put back to your roots and treated just like everyone else,” Shenk said.
Working at McDonald’s has been a great experience, according to Shenk. While Shenk started working during the summer of her junior year, other students started even earlier.
“My whole family is in the restaurant business, and the day after I turned 16, I started working,” senior Ellie Dillard said. Dillard works at a small, family restaurant near her house, where she and her family often eat.
Although working during the school year is a good way to earn some spending money, it is also a large time commitment.
Dillard works every weekend. “I usually do shifts on FridaySaturday and Sunday,” Dillard said. “Each shift is around four-five hours.”
Another student, junior Tessa De Vries also works at the same resturant as Dillard, so far she has greatly enjoyed working there, “It’s like no work I’ve ever done before, it’s super busy, lots of interacting with people.”
For De Vries, working at a restaurant has been a good experience, and it has helped her with time management skills “It definitely makes me use my time better,” said De Vries.
For De Vries, working hasn’t been too difficult but it has been very tiring, “Its super busy, bussing all the tables, talking to people at the door and answering the phone, and bringing food out. It’s not hard work, but it is a lot of work,” De Vries said.
“At the beginning of the school year, I was working 16 hours every weekend, and it was just really exhausting,” Shenk said.
However, Shenk believes that, “It can be overwhelming, but once you start to learn how to take shifts and plan ahead it becomes more manageable.”
Shenk is confident that her time at McDonald’s has helped prepare her for working with people after high school.
“McDonald’s gives you such a variety of people that you meet that has really helped me improve my people skills.”
By Shawn Owens