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Ashley Nichols: Training for the Future

Name: Ashley Nichols

Age: 21

Year: Senior

Major: English (Editing, Writing and Media)

Hometown: Cooper City, Florida

Relationship Status: Single

Her Campus (HC): You are really involved with Chick-Fil-A. Can you tell us a little more about what you do?

Ashley Nichols (AN): I have worked with Chick-Fil-A for a little over five years (crazy, I know!) and I absolutely love it! The company just has an amazing foundation of service and their commitment to it is what sets it apart from other quick-service restaurants. When you have the CEO serving his employees and those employees serving each other, the people you see day-to-day in the restaurants can’t help but be excited to serve their customers; it’s literally a chain-effect of good people wanting to serve you. Right now, I work seasonally (during breaks in school) at a store back home where I am the Training Director. I basically work as a manager, running and leading shifts, and oversee all of the training.

Ashley with Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-Fil-A

HC: What’s the most interesting part of working there?

AN: It’s a lot more trying than you would think. For me, each day is a new adventure full of challenges and good moments. The best part is just meeting a huge variety of people from different backgrounds and mindsets. It’s meeting these people that challenge me all the time.

HC: Do you have any crazy customer stories?

AN: My most memorable, and terrifying, experience is one I won’t ever forget. It was an extremely busy Saturday and our lunch rush was crazier than usual, and keeping up with that many people is overwhelming at times. So, I was in the kitchen helping them catch up and I walk to the front to take the next guest’s order. Apparently there was some line cutting that took place (but how would I have known?). As soon as I served the supposed line cutters, a lady literally jumps in front of them and starts yelling (actually yelling) at me for being “so rude and ignorant” because I should’ve just magically known she was next in line. Her speech went on for a solid five minutes and I just stood there feeling so uncomfortable and apologized a thousand times. After I took her order I was so emotionally overwhelmed that I had to go into our office and cry, which I never do! It was so embarrassing, but fortunately all of the customers and employees that witnessed the event were super sympathetic and instantly made me feel better.

HC: Do you have any future plans with the company?

AN: The more I work at Chick-Fil-A, the stronger my passion for the company grows. I would absolutely love to continue growing my strengths and to one day work for their corporate in Atlanta, Georgia. I don’t have a long-term goal job or anything, but my short term goal would be to either get an internship where I can meet more corporate employees and just see what there is, or to become a Grand Opening Trainer. As a GOT, I would travel to the new Chick-Fil-A stores and train the employees before their store’s grand opening. This sounds most appealing to me as I graduate, because I would get to travel and just meet some amazing people. After that, I have no clue, but I hope to stay with Chick-Fil-A!

HC: I didn’t know you could customize pretty much anything in your order (extra crispy fries?!), what else don’t people know about Chick-Fil-A?

AN: The thing with Chick-Fil-A is that because we are so customer-oriented, we will do our best to meet your requests. I’ve had customers order their sandwiches to be double-breaded, or even for each nugget to have its own box! If you have the creativity, chances are CFA will do it.

HC: Would you recommend other college students to get involved with Chick-Fil-A?

AN: Yes, definitely! Chick-Fil-A, of course, is not the place for everyone, but I’ve found that if you have a passion for a company’s mission and foundations, working for them isn’t work at all – it’s fun! Another thing is that Chick-Fil-A cares about everyone, not just its customers but the employees too, and I think that’s rare for many quick-service restaurants.

HC: Sauce you can’t live without?

AN: Let’s be real, Polynesian sauce is hands-down THE BEST!

HC: So, you’re about to graduate. What’s going through your head as you approach the big day?

AN: It’s still so crazy to me that these past four years have just flown by. I definitely have mixed feelings; on one hand, college is amazing. But on the other hand, it’s time to grow up and accept adulthood, which is exciting, because all of these years of hard work that I’ve put into my education will finally pay off. 

HC: Plans for the future?

AN: To be happy. No matter what I do, whether I work for Chick-Fil-A or somewhere else, I just want to be happy! It’s important, I think, to find something that you have a strong passion for and pursue it. 

FSU/Senior/Editing, Writing, and Media
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