Student Spotlight: Julie Primavera, Intern at Saxbys Coffee

Temple senior Julie Primavera is a Math major in the College of Science and Technology with a minor in Economics. This summer, she is interning with Saxbys Coffee. Not your ordinary internship for a Math major, and not your ordinary part-time position in a coffee shop! With the new Saxbys opening in the annex between Alter Hall and Speakman Hall, many opportunities will be available for Temple students right on campus! Read more about what makes Julie’s experience with Saxbys unique and rewarding…

What Company and department are you working with?

Saxbys; Operations – my café is Rittenhouse

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

I learned about the internship because I followed Saxbys on Instagram. They posted a picture saying they were looking for interns so I applied right away.

The interview process consisted of two interviews. The first was just a very informal interview with discussion about your life with hidden interview questions in the mix. The second interview (a separate day) was more focused on your typical interview questions.

Did career services at Temple assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

I attended a job fair prep held by the College of Science and Technology. There I had my resume critique and edited, learned about interview and how to answer questions, and practiced my elevator speech.

What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?

My main job function is to work in the café. The internship is an expedited leadership role. So you start at the lowest position (host) and move up through the tiers. I am currently a Team Lead 1 and will end the internship as Team Lead 2. There is a Team Lead 3 and that is the person right under the C.E.O. (café executive officer). As a Team Lead 1 I am responsible for making sure the everything in the café is running smoothly. I basically run the shift and delegate tasks to baristas and handle problems that may occur.

A typical day in the internship does not exist, but I will try.

I open the café around 5:30am. I work in the café till about 2:30pm making drinks, sandwiches, delegating tasks, and handling situations that may arise. Then I have a gap and grab lunch/snack. At 4pm I head to HQ to start prepping for an event. At the event, we have a table and serve drinks and cookies. If there is not an event to attend that day, I may have a meeting with my C.E.O about my independent intern project or if it’s a Tuesday I would head over to HQ for our weekly wellness workout (yoga or palates).

How has your internship related to your course work?

With my major as math, most people wonder why I am working in a café. But my coursework does get used. The obvious use of math would be counting the money in my till, but that is not applying Modern Algebra. The real way my course work comes in is through problem solving. In Math, you are given a problem, and you are tasked with finding a solution. I use these problem solving skills in the café.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The most important thing I learned while at my internship was actually a core value. At Saxbys, our mission is to “make life better.” Under that we have six core value that drive the mission. My favorite from the start is “care personally and communicate openly.” This I learned is a very important aspect of success. If you do not personally care about what you are doing then why are you doing it? When you care is when you get the best results. Second is communicate openly. This is a huge part and the most important thing I learned while working at Saxbys. There is a saying, communication is key and now I know it is true. Throughout the internship I had the opportunity to communicate with so many people. Talking to my C.E.O, my mentor, and the leader of the internship program openly really helped me get the most out of the internship that I could get.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?

START EARLY. I put off looking for a while because I thought there would be a lot of openings, I was wrong.

Second, I learned from the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. She says when comparing jobs delete your pro/con list. The only thing that should matter is potential for growth. I had this in mind when choosing Saxbys because the whole internship is meant to grow the individual into a leader.

Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?

I learned that because I am a math major does not mean that my only opportunities are in teaching or insurance. College prepares you for many things and your degree is not as specific as you think. I never saw myself having an internship with Saxbys. Saxbys is a hospitality business and I haven’t taken a single hospitality or even hospitality related class.

Anything else you’d like to mention?

Probably the best thing about this internship was the people I got to meet and work with. Saxbys is a great company to work for. Everyone there cares from the baristas you see as soon as you walk into a café to the CEO, Nick Bayer. Every team member I met I walked away wishing I could get to know them better and spend more time with them. Everyone was willing to help me along my way any way they could. I know even after the internship ends I will still be in contact with them because they truly do care about me.

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