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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ASU chapter.

I recently started my second-ever barista job at a small coffee booth in Phoenix, and, as one would expect, I love it. Walking in the warm, anemically-lit stand early in the morning, getting hit by the wafting smell of espresso and warm caramel sauce, and watching the sunrise as I help my first customers of the day – it’s the perfect job, especially for me. 

As a college student with two majors and a caffeine addiction, the early morning shifts finish before my first classes of the day. That way, when 3 p.m. rolls around, I’ve made some money and gotten all caught up on classwork. Of course, I always give in to the chronic 2-3 p.m. nap that has seemingly gained traction on TikTok lately. 

Most weekdays, I work from 4:45 a.m. to noon. I know what you’re thinking – that’s early. And by no means am I a self-proclaimed early bird. For most of my life, I have struggled with either insomnia or a general disdain for being productive in the mornings. However, if you’re like me and you’re battling to fit things into a 21-credit class schedule, being finished with a shift by lecture time is the ideal scenario. Besides, you’ll be surrounded by coffee at work to help fight away the sleep. 

Unlike internship work, baristas are finished as soon as you clock out, meaning you can enjoy some simple work/life balance and use your extra time for studying. 

If you’re looking to get hired as a part-time barista while attending college, take a look at the tips I listed below!

  1. If you’re currently in high school, try getting involved in part-time barista work before moving to university. Starbucks is a great place to start, with tons of locations, good pay, and easy-to-follow recipes. Having barista experience prior to applying for positions in your college town can only help your chances with later positions. Beyond that, Starbucks will pay for your school through their Starbucks College Achievement Plan, if you’re looking for a way to pay for classes!
  1. Describe yourself as friendly, organized, and efficient, in some way or another. Those are some very important qualities for being a barista, especially when it comes to giving the customer a favorable experience while still getting them through the line quickly. If you’re good at multitasking, let employers know! 
  1. Review requirements and standards for the cafe or coffee shop you want to work at. It never hurts to know more about not only the business but also what they’re looking for in potential baristas. That way, you can present yourself as the ideal candidate for the job (which can be beneficial in potentially small hiring pools). 
  1. Take on other positions if you can’t get hired as a barista. If you’re struggling to find a barista position in your college town, look for other jobs with similar experience and qualifications that might help your odds at getting a leg up over other candidates. Any customer service position, at a basic level, can be connected to barista requirements. 

Go out there with a positive attitude! Most employers are looking for someone passionate and well-prepared, at the end of the day. So get out there with a smile on your face and apply wherever you can!

Mia Milinovich is a junior at Barrett, the Honors College, studying English (Literature) and Journalism & Mass Communications. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to garage rock, and going to random, last-minute concerts.