Courtesy of Alexander Orolfo
Jobs present new opportunities and experiences for high school students to earn money and to be integrated into real-world work. Having a job as a high schooler allows them to learn how to have better time management, pick up and practice new skills quickly, and improve their work ethic. The idea of applying and interviewing for a job is daunting for some teenagers, but places like Raising Cane’s make it easy for students to get a perfect first job.
Concerning his application and interview process, Sam Evenson, junior, remarks, “It was surprisingly easy. I submitted my application and resume online, and then I was texted by the general manager within the week. We set up a phone interview, which only took about 10-15 minutes, and they just asked me some super quick questions. Then they set up a second interview, that’s when they told me I got the job, and then I had orientation!”
Cane’s is Evenson’s first job. The same is true for juniors Alexander Orolfo and Izzy Padilla. Their favorite things about working at Cane’s are their coworkers. They describe their coworkers as being fun, easy to get along with, and as making the workday better.
“I wanted a job so I had more to do over the summers because I get bored easily! Also getting paid isn’t too bad, of course,” Evenson says, “It also is just a great experience for teenagers to have, so I definitely recommend it.”
Thinking about the future, Orolfo states, “I wanted to get a job because it not only gives me my own income, money is always good to have, but it also helps set me up for when I have to do this type of thing during college where I might be put into the same exact position of balancing work and school.”
Being as popular as Cane’s is, their workers have to be trained and ready to tackle the busy hours and the demand for Cane’s delicious meals. This also means that employees have to complete the duties and responsibilities that they are assigned.
“Cane’s trains you in every position so one day you might be working ‘bird’ or maybe toast, or even on some days you might be working outside just getting tablet orders. Everyone carries the responsibility of cleaning and stocking their areas and we all have shared responsibilities,” Orolfo explains.
Evenson adds, “My focus is on the drive-thru, so I mostly do stuff like making the drinks, bagging food, taking money, taking orders, giving out the food, and running the front counter. And, of course, we always clean as we go, so we can keep a clean restaurant and workspace. We also make the hand-squeezed lemonade, pump Cane’s sauce, and make the coleslaw. Everyone is cross-trained, which means we get trained in the kitchen and drive-thru, but drive-thru is just my preference.”
While he was working at drive-thru, Evenson recalls a funny story.
“Once someone came through the drive-thru on what appeared to be a tricycle? It was super strange, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to see someone pedal up to the window. Another strange thing was when this person came through with a bird on their shoulder! It stayed completely still but chirped a bit at me, and it was super confusing but cool!”
Balancing between school and work can sometimes be difficult, especially since they are both demanding of time and effort. However, it is possible and students can learn how to manage their time in order to accommodate for school, work, and their social and family life.
Padilla shares, “I am able to balance school and work by keeping an agenda and communicating with my managers.”
A big part of having a job includes interacting with customers. This can be trying at times if the customer or the employee is getting frustrated. Even if this is the case, kindness and understanding can go a long way.
Orolfo emphasizes, “A good customer is a customer that just remembers that everyone is human, anyone and everyone can make mistakes and customers who know that are the best types.”
Being in a different time now where masks have become important in today’s society, Evenson comments, “A great customer for me is always the nicest one of course, but especially when they wear their masks (even in the drive-thru). It’s polite to wear a mask even while you’re in your car because we still get into pretty close contact with customers. So I definitely appreciate it when customers wear their masks in the drive-thru! But also good customers are always understanding, because sometimes we all make mistakes, and rather than yell at me or demand for a manager, they understand that the mistake was made.”
Evenson, Orolfo, and Padilla work over 20 hours a week and are paid about $9.65 an hour.
For someone who wants to work at Cane’s, Padilla says, “It is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work. Be ready to learn fast and work hard.”
Evenson advises, “Just be ready to work in a fast-paced environment! We value the speed that we get each car through the drive-thru, and sometimes it can get a little stressful. But there’s always someone there to help you if you fall behind! Overall it can be tricky sometimes, but it’s super fun and I love working there.”
Regarding the application and interview process, Orolfo states, “Be prepared. Research what you can about the company, that way it shows you are interested. Making a resume really helped when it came to answering questions about my work ethic and it also allowed me to put myself above others who might want the same job. Also, practice interview questions with someone, it gets really nerve-wracking when you are doing the interview but even the slightest amount of practice goes a long way.”