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Tell us about your career journey with Starbucks.

I started at Starbucks on May 25th, 2009, just over four years ago. I was an RMT (retail management trainee), and as such was placed into a store for intensive training for a month before I would be sent to my home store. At my placement store, I learned how to be a barista for two weeks, then a shift supervisor. I quickly found myself an assistant store manager. I was well-versed in the management side, but trying to coach people who had been there for years while still learning how to make all of the drinks was a little unnerving. Regardless, I was welcomed into the store by everyone there and fell in love with the culture of inclusivity of Starbucks. It became not just a job, but a community and a home.

What do you love about working at Starbucks?

The people. I can't say enough about the people: store partners, upper management, suppliers, but most of all the customers. Starbucks seems to have a knack for surrounding itself with extraordinary people.

At Starbucks, employees are called "partners." What does that mean to you?

To be a partner is to be part of the symbiotic relationship that exists between the company and the individuals that make it up. To be a "partner" is so much more than just a word we use for working for Starbucks. The fact that we are partners is evidenced in the dedication and passion that we have for the company. We are respected and are given so many opportunities for advancement if that's what we want. We are also rewarded in the form of stocks, benefits, and all the other programs Starbucks offers its partners.

What does a typical day look like in your role?

Managing a Starbucks involves wearing many hats. In terms of the specifics of my role, a typical day would involve first and foremost an assessment of the status of the store, starting from product and going to staffing, sales achievement, cleaning, planning, and goal attainment. This is the most crucial part of my role. It is from here we steer the store. I plot out what needs to be done in the moment, in the hour, in the day, in the week, and in the future. A store manager is and must be so many different things to so many different people at any given moment on any given day.

Tell us about how you are involved with your community as a Starbucks store manager?

Although my store is in the downtown core, we have built relationships with some great local organizations. We are working with a church around the corner to supply coffee for their breakfast program for the homeless, and we also make our store available as a drop-off location for donated clothing, which the church distributes to the homeless. We also participate in local community fundraisers, often supplying prizing and coffee where we can.

What advice would you give to a student considering retail as a career?

Apply at Starbucks. Here, you will experience the rewards of a sales-driven atmosphere, with the soul of the hospitality industry. You will work in an environment that lets you be yourself and enables you to rely on your own ingenuity to achieve your goals, while providing support to help you achieve those goals. You will gain a world of experience that can be translated into so many different industries.