Work, School, & Work + School

Sometimes students attend school and parents help out. Sometimes financial aid steps in and gives a helping hand. Some students, like most of the people I know, receive very little help from financially strapped parents and not enough from financial aid. That’s where trabajo comes into the picture.

Here are some reasons why a parent will forbid you to work:

1) They fear that the allure of making money will make you drop out of school.
2) They think that your grades will tank.
3) In the case that your grades survive, they think that your social life will suffer (no well-roundedness!)
4) You may survive all of the above, but your health could take a big toll from little time to study, eat, AND sleep (pick 2).
5) They want to provide for you/ Some parents operate in such a way that they want to keep that child-parent connection going for as long as they can and want to baby you through college.

My dad had fears 1 + 2. Sure making money is nice, but minimum wage is not the greatest incentive to drop out of school, least of all UC Berkeley. Although my grades have not been the best, that is not because of work, I just have poor time management. I passed with the bare minimum amount of effort, but I have turned over a new leaf and aim to get As and Bs only.

So when it comes to work I have experienced a few different formats:

1) Summer full-time: The summer before my Sophomore year I took on a full-time position at EZon EZoff. This company deals with adaptive clothing for the elderly and physically challenged. It was a lot of fun 9-5 (sometimes 6 or 7) type job where I would make calls, answer calls, keep track of invoices and inventory, consult with the CEO on advertising and hiring practices, etc.

Sounds awesome? Yes. I received this opportunity because the founder was my ex’s mom. She’s really cool.

EZon EZoff CEO, Les Brown, and moi

2) Sophomore Spring Semester Internship: I had met Donya Fahmy at an Entrepreneur’s Summit during the summer and she was working with organic skincare products. Since she was working on her own I saw this as an opportunity to offer my help. I always keep in mind that entrepreneurs are having a hard time financially and a free hand means a lot. I would visit her on weeknights in SF and help out packaging products, pouring lotions/ lip balms/ candles/ soaps into containers, walk boxes to the post office, label bottles, etc.

You can check it out here: http://www.dropwise.com/

3) “Official Work” Break/ Hippopotamust: After my internship I was a little worn down and a little strapped for income so I had to look for a paying job. During this job-seeking time I spent more time with my hobby: sewing and crafting. I made some earrings, plushies, and embroidered the crocheted items my roommate made!

4) Junior Spring Bus Girl: I decided to get my roommate some crepes for her birthday, so I woke up early and went to Cafe Durant to buy her some. I noticed they were hiring, that the work force was mainly Hispanic, and that I had time to apply. Although the months I spent working there were 1) confusing, 2) difficult, and 3) uninspiring I had a lot of fun. It was difficult and confusing because I had no clear-cut position and at times my co-workers encouraged me to treat the clientele poorly. The sentiment was that if you were helpful then they would expect it all the time. It was pretty appalling. I also had beer drip on top of me since busy nights were way too crowded. I am thankful for the Spanish speaking practice, the jokes, the smiles, and the positive ambiance between co-workers.

5) The Melt (Summer Part-time–> NOW): I received the job offer for The Melt while I was transitioning away from Cafe Durant. Although these two establishments are within one block of one another, they could not be more different. The mission at The Melt is to “Make People Happy.” And that makes me happy! My co-workers were picked with utmost care and that is why they are all so awesome.  And this is where you can find me now, probably on weekends since I’ll be in class during the week. Thankfully on weekends, because Military Fitness and Intro to Modern Dance make my body hurt.

So this is the overview of my work experience and I am willing to answer questions regarding my work experience at each of these places, my qualifications, or my interview process.

If it were possible I would love to not work while going to school because school is a full time job in itself but since I must, I’m glad to have such a great job at the moment 🙂

Sincerely,

Melisa
Intended Political Economy ’14
Current load: 15 units, ~20-21 hrs.

Kitteh
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