This post was written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. Working in Starbucks isn’t the death knell for your career. In fact, quite the opposite. Sonali Gidwani tells us why.
A job as a barista always seemed to me like a good way to make some extra pocket money, get free coffee and learn how to orchestrate perfect coffee architect.
Upon further pondering, I realised that working in a coffee shop, or any F&B and retail role, does wonders for your personal skillset and career prospects.
Also, don’t worry if you’re unable to get a highly competitive spring or summer internship, you’re not settling for anything less by taking up a barista job. In fact, you might learn much more than your corporate peers.
With firm strategies becoming more customer-focused then ever before, customer service is key. How do you deal with a customer’s requirements? Whether it’s catering to a person’s usual coffee or food allergies of someone who’s visiting your store for the first time, proactive and genuine service is key.
Communication and working under pressure
This goes hand in hand with customer service. Good communication is key to great service. Moreover, being able to quickly coordinate with colleagues and customers during busy times of the day also improves how swiftly and effectively you can communicate a situation to the rest of your colleagues.
Holding down a barista job whilst managing your university commitments is a fantastic way to learn time management skills. Managing shifts, travel time, academics, extra-curriculars and job applications is no mean feat, so make sure you flesh out your time management skills on your CV.
It’s important that whatever you make and sell is of the highest quality, especially when it comes to food and drink. If your output is of high quality in your barista or retail job, you can showcase your attention to detail and commitment to high quality services to your future employer.
Sometimes you’ll be required to train other students, manage a till or coordinate re-stocking in a store. In that case, you will most certainly pick up real-world leadership skills and see immediate results.
You’ll learn the best ways to save and manage your money, and will also gain financial independence. An aptitude for effectively handling money will not go unnoticed by an employer.
Whether it’s with your colleagues, regular customers or suppliers, your ability to build relationships with people will be extremely useful in a corporate setting. Particularly in client-facing roles such as corporate banking and consulting.
So if you’re considering a part-time job at your local coffee shop, pizzeria or Marks and Spencers, I would strongly advise submitting an application ASAP. Good luck!