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Server Speak: When Work and School Worlds Collide

Claire Donovan
Position: Host/Cashier
Years in the industry: 6 
Brasa Premium Rotisserie, St. Paul

Working while going to school can be stressful and
a lot to handle. You really have to learn how to manage
your money and time, but it helps you focus on the
quality of life you want to have. One way that my school
came into my work life was I took ASL classes at MCTC
and used it in some service experiences I've had. 

Austen Hartke
Position: Baker
Years in the industry: 10 
Brake Bread, St. Paul

I figured out a way to balance myself by basing my
school schedule on when I worked and vice versa.
Because I’m an introvert, after doing table service for
hours I would be peopled-out. That can make it hard
to engage in class when I'm out of it.

Ryan Sarno
Position: Assistant manager
Years in the industry: 15 
Vicinity Coffee, Minneapolis

I've balanced restaurant work with school ever since
I was 15. I had to take over a lot of responsibility and
working in an adult environment like a kitchen made
me feel pretty cool. I think that working in a restaurant
while you're in school teaches you a lot of key parts of
professional speed and efficiency that you don't always
learn in academia. The demand for efficiency and
producing translates into working hard in your school
life but your daily life, too. 

Connor Lowen
Position: Front of house
Years in the industry: 5  
La La Homemade Ice Cream

It helps when you're younger learning to be in charge
and organized as much as possible. It was a big step
going on from high school to my freshman year of
college—trying to make rent was the hardest part.

Melanie Schmidt
Position: Front of house
Years in the industry: 4 
J. Selby's, St. Paul

Working at a restaurant while going to school was
very beneficial. The tip money was great and the
hours were flexible and most of my college friends
were people I met working in the restaurant.
In fact, I missed it so much after finishing school and getting another job that I got back into it! 


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