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Jessica Hayes: Shift Leader

JessicaHayesJessica Hayes, BSc Psychology, started working at the Hub as a catering assistant. She has recently been promoted to Shift Leader.

Why did you apply for the role and where was it advertised? 

I applied for the role because I wanted the independence of working again. I started my job in the second term of my first year after struggling financially for the first term. I contacted Gemma via her email address on the jobs section of the Royal Holloway website. She then kindly got back to me when a job became available. 

How many hours do you work per week? 

On average I work around 12 hours a week with the majority of my hours on a Saturday. 

What projects do you undertake and what skills have you learned? 

I have been trained in the catering section of the Hub, this has taught me to use team-work, clear communication and fantastic customer service. 

I have been trained as a barista in both Starbucks and Coffee and Cake, this is a very useful skill to have. This job was out of my comfort zone but I am glad I was trained in it because it has built my confidence.

I am also a delivery driver for the Hub which has taught me to be efficient, polite, presentable and to always be on time.

I have recently been promoted to Shift Leader: this involves cashing up the tills, locking up the department, being in charge of a team and taking responsibility. I am enjoying this role so far.

How are you finding the role? How are the people you work with?

I love working in all of these roles, there are constantly new challenges and obstacles to overcome which makes every shift fun. I love the team that I work with and have made some great friends. The managers are always friendly and approachable which makes working so much easier too. I always find myself looking forward to work instead of dreading it which can only be a positive thing.

How do you combine work with study? Is it difficult? 

I think it would be difficult if the managers were not flexible with time off, but they make this very easy. I always worry around exam time that I will not have enough time to revise but that is never the case. The Hub always try to fit your job around your studies because it is the predominant reason that you are at university. They will always try their best to give you time off if you need it and they never pressure you into shifts. This also means that I am a lot more willing to help them if they ever need help, so it is a good relationship and makes the whole process easy and not stressful at all.

Does your role benefit you in your future career? 

The catering industry does not directly link because I want to go into teaching. However, the skills I have developed will definitely help. I have learned to be calm, to communicate in many different ways, to be efficient and how to lead a team – all of these skills will definitely benefit me when I go into teaching. 

Would you recommend working whilst studying? 

I would recommend working without any hesitation. It gives you independence, you get an extra source of income each month, you make amazing friends and it provides you with a new atmosphere. If people are worried about it taking too much time away from their studies then they shouldn't be.

Everyone is willing to help and it provides a nice break sometimes from your workload. For me, working has never been an effort – it has always been something I enjoy. So I would definitely recommend working while studying!


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