5 student part-time jobs that pay — in dollars and free food


Freshman Ze’le Sparks works at Surf N’ Yogurt. Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press

Emily Kinnaman

[dropcap size=dropcap]A[/dropcap]mid busy schedules, many Foothill students also work part-time jobs. These jobs give students work experience and also allow them to make some money. While everyone has different preferences regarding jobs, these five part-time jobs are good options for students.

Surf’n Yogurt

With surfboards and beach paintings lining the walls, local frozen yogurt store, Surf’n Yogurt, has a relaxed atmosphere that is great for students working part-time.

Sophomore Alex Schmitt worked a summer job at Surf’n Yogurt and enjoyed the experience.

“You get to have good hours and you get to interact with people a lot, which is fun,” she said. “And the yogurt’s really good, so that’s a plus.”

“The little kids coming in [were my favorite part] and playing with them, and they would like help with the cash register and stuff,” she added. “I loved it so much, it was so much fun.”

Schmitt said that employees receive one free yogurt per shift.

Working at Surf’n Yogurt involves more than just frozen yogurt, however. Schmitt’s favorite part of the job involved people.

“You make friends. There was this one really nice homeless lady and she would come by everyday, and we would always have conversations that lasted like a half an hour,” she said. “So it’s really nice, you meet a lot of people, make friends, see people you know.”


A restaurant chain fairly new to Ventura, Chick-fil-A is a fast food restaurant that sells chicken instead of the typical beef. Chicken isn’t the only unique aspect of Chick-fil-A. It also has a friendly environment that employees appreciate.

Senior Alie Oleson, a Chick-fil-A employee, said that she likes the atmosphere and how nice the employees are to customers and co-workers.

Describing her job, Oleson said, “I work front counter, and it’s cash register and you go through dining room too. And what dining room is is that you walk around and you ask people like, ‘do you need me to get you any sauces or refresh your beverage?’”

Oleson works there 15 to 18 hours a week. She said that there are other benefits of working at Chick-fil-A besides a friendly atmosphere.

“We don’t get free food, but we get discounts on food. And so it like reflects on how well we did the month before, of how much they reward us on free stuff,” she said. “And sometimes the owner comes in and he brings us pizza and stuff, or like cake. And then they took us to Magic Mountain for FrightFest, which was cool.”

Oleson has held three jobs, but “by far” enjoys working at Chick-fil-A the most.

“I worked at Hot Dog on a Stick and I worked at Aeropostale. Hot Dog on a Stick was interesting; I had to wear weird hats, and my manager didn’t like me, so I quit,” she said.

“And Aeropostale was also interesting. I liked working there and working with clothes and getting discounts and stuff but it was hard because they like never gave me hours at all, whereas Chick-fil-A I work all the time.”


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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

For those who love coffee and tea, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf can be a fitting part-time job.

Senior Shelby Esparza, who has been an employee at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for seven months, enjoys her job as a certified barista.

“I do cash rack and then I make the drinks and serve food,” she said. “Being [a] certified [barista] means that you know how to make every single drink on the menu, and if anyone wants to change anything we could do that too.”

Esparza said that she also occasionally has to do jobs that she doesn’t enjoy as much.

“Cleaning the bathrooms is never fun,” she said. “But everybody has to do their part in making sure the store is clean and everything. So probably once a month I’m on bathroom duty.”

Nevertheless, Esparza enjoys her job, especially interacting with people. She previously worked at Aeropostale but didn’t enjoy it as much as working at Coffee Bean.

“[Interacting with people] is something the retail store didn’t give me because you just wanted to like shove it down their throats to buy something,” she said. “But at the coffee shop you know that people are coming in to drink coffee, so you have that one thing in common already that you just like to drink coffee or tea.”

Free samples of coffee or tea are given to employees every month, which they can then share with family and friends.

“I always bring tea into Kindred’s because I always have a ton of tea,” Esparza said.

But apart from free samples, Esparza enjoys working at Coffee Bean because “the job is really fun, the hours are really manageable, and [she has] a good time.”


Iconic California restaurant In-N-Out is famous for its burgers and fries, but also well-known for a salary that is higher than minimum wage.

Senior Ciera Georgi, who works at the In-N-Out in Camarillo, says that she makes about $2.50 more an hour than minimum wage.  Georgi has been working there for about a year.

“Starting off you learn how to clean, keep everything tidy, learn how to take orders, learn how to work the drive-thru, and then fries, and then cooking,” she said. “[Now I do] everything except cook.”

Although Georgi enjoys her job overall, there are some aspects that she doesn’t like.

“People [can be] really picky,” she said. “And they can be rude, if you get their order wrong or you didn’t understand what they said. I think they don’t realize that we’re human too.”

Georgi works 20 to 25 hours a week, four days a week.

“It’s hard because [I] don’t usually get off until 11 o’clock at night, so it’s just a long day,” she said.

Despite picky customers and long hours, Georgi enjoys her job. Her favorite part is meeting new people.

“You get to meet a lot of different people because we’re right by the outlets, I work in Camarillo, so it’s a ton of people you’d never meet if you didn’t have the job,” she said.

“People are really good, the company’s good,” she added. “And having a part time job is kind of hard with school, but it’s good if you can balance it out and get a good workload.”

Jersey Mike’s

With several locations in Ventura, restaurant chain Jersey Mike’s serves sub sandwiches with customizable toppings.

“I have the best job […] because, I don’t know, it’s just fun. I make sandwiches, I talk to people,” said senior and Jersey Mike employee Andrew Miech. 

Miech also enjoys the flexibility of his job, which allows him to balance work and school.

“My boss is really nice and lets me work when I need to, and I get to go right after school and be done with work and school by three o’clock,” he said.

In addition to good hours, Miech appreciates the free food he gets from Jersey Mikes.

“[We can get] free sandwiches everyday […] we can have [as much] as we want,” he said.

Miech believes that, no matter where you work, having a part-time job as a high schooler is a good experience.

I think it’s important to have a job in high school because you learn a lot and like balance your time and you have money to go do what you want.”


Background Photo Credit: Carrie Coonan/The Foothill Dragon Press 

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