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Interview With Nguyen Cao, Student Manager of Starbucks at JMU

I recently had the opportunity to interview the Student Manager of all the Starbucks on JMU's campus. Nguyen Cao is a senior Health Services Administration Major. She also works at the Health Center, and is graduating this spring.

Why did you first want to work as the Student Manager position at Starbucks?

It related to what I wanted to do in my future career. I want to be a health administrator and the student manager position was going to teach me great management skills. So definitely for the management skills. Plus, JMU has such great opportunities with Aramark, so it worked out really well.

What’s your favorite part about working for Starbucks?

The people, honestly. I love getting to know the regular customers and students I manage, because everyone has their own story. The customers are so happy when you remember their orders and names. Everyone is really nice, and I love hearing about people’s days.

What do you do at the Health Center?

I work as a front office assistant. The professional name is medical administrative assistant. I basically check people in, answer questions, and point people to other resources.

How do you manage school while also working at Starbucks and the Health Center

My planner - I always plan everything out. At first I didn’t want to have any gaps for breaks. But I know now I need breaks for lunch, to change, and just have some down time. I do plan out my days very specific, like I’ll have an 8am-6pm day, and I usually work weekends. But I always try to give myself one day off. Having a list, a planner, and prioritizing things really helps.

What's your go-to Starbucks drink?

I'm kind of indecisive so:

1. Toffee nut iced coffee with soy milk

2. Iced green tea latte with soy milk

3. The PINK drink

What's the worst spelling of a name you've ever written?

I can’t remember, but there was a day where I just gave people random names. Like Ally was Rachel, and Paul was Matt. I just misheard a lot of names.

Are you more of a tea or coffee person? 

Coffee.

What are you gonna miss the most about JMU when you graduate? 

The campus, really. I think we have one of the most beautiful campuses, and it's still growing. I think that they are doing a great job of redoing the campus and making it more student-oriented.

JMU '21 Lexie is an undergraduate Digital Marketing major at James Madison University. She enjoys listening to Taylor Swift and drinking an alarming amount of cold brew. Her favorite authors are Morgan Matson and Jenny Han, and she hopes to one day become a book publisher.
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