An inside look on the struggles and benefits of working students

An inside look on the struggles and benefits of working students

Mira Kaiser

The perks of free coffee is what first attracted junior Abby Evans to working at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, but after working there since June, Evans has been committed to her job because of the older sibling-like relationships she has built with her coworkers. 

Evans uses barista training to make a coffee for a customer. Photo courtesy of Abby Evans.

Despite the responsibility and difficult barista training Evans says her first job has taught her valuable professional skills such as communicating well with her manager, being more organized, and customer relations.

“Its taught me to be more confident and more friendly because I have to talk to a lot of customers and it makes it easier to do the same in real life,” Evans said.

Evans enjoys her job but working up to four times a week while juggling schoolwork can be difficult.

“Because I have a lot less free time, on the days that I don’t have work, my brain feels like it needs a break and so I spend my time relaxing instead of doing schoolwork,” Evans said.

Despite the occasional angry customer throwing something at him, senior Max Teruel has gained valuable experiences and enjoys his work environment at Icicles, a Taiwanese rolled-ice cream store in downtown Mountain View.

Since starting at Icicles in the summer of 2018, Teruel has expanded his responsibilities on the job, being promoted to shift lead, which includes being responsible for all employees working during his shifts. 

Teruel’s job at Icicles is his second job after working at In-N-Out Burgers. Teruel says his prior experience taught him to be even more organized and disciplined, and he carries these lessons with him as he works at the ice cream shop. 

Max Teruel. Photo by Sophia Smith.

 Staying organized is crucial for Teruel to be able to successfully balance of school and work. For most students, the weekends are a time to relax and distract from a hard week, but Teruel works Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each week for a total of about 18 hours, giving him very little free time. However, what keeps Teruel so dedicated is the freedom he gains from having a job.

“It’s a good way to get more freedom and be less dependent on your parents, but it also comes with more responsibilities to save use the money you make wisely and be able to measure yourself,” Teruel said.