Starbucks preps students for seeking future employment


Photo courtesy of Sally Jarvis

Students participate in mock interviews with Starbucks managers in the LINC.

Catherine Zhang, Feature Editor

Aiming to give students insight on the job application process, Diamond Bar High School career education teacher Sally Jarvis hosted the third annual Starbucks Mock Interview on Nov. 16 in the school library.

Five managers from nearby Starbucks locations volunteered to hold casual group interviews with hand-picked junior and senior special education students, who were in Jarvis’ career and life skills classes, in her advanced career education development class or recommended by other special education teachers.

Five to six students were placed at each table, with a manager interviewing each group. At the end of the roughly 30-minute interview, they gave bags of Starbucks treats to the students.

“It helped them gain experience and get comfortable with real interviews. A lot of these kids want to get jobs at the end of the year, so it’s in preparation for them,” math teacher Morgan Galeener, who assisted in the event, said.

Following the event, the students all wrote thank-you letters to the managers that participated, who had volunteered during their time off.

“I teach my students it’s important to write thank you notes at the end of any interview or anytime someone does something nice for you. They wrote notes to thank Starbucks for coming here and providing an opportunity because this isn’t something they have to do,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis and Galeener are planning on holding more mock interviews in the future, and they are currently reaching out to Disney to coordinate a behind-the-scenes work tour. Last year, Jarvis was contacted by the Starbucks company vice president of operations a few weeks prior to the second mock interview. Jarvis proposed her goal of expanding the event to other districts and she was asked to teach other district managers this past summer to get involved.

Although Galeener assisted with the event as a co-teacher of Jarvis’ advanced career education development class, the interviews were mainly headed by Jarvis, who first created the idea. Prior to the event, Jarvis reached out to multiple managers, hosted a “bootcamp” to teach the students interviewing skills and tips and sent students reminders to dress formally.

The interviews originated three years ago when Jarvis, a regular customer of a nearby Starbucks, built a relationship with one of the managers, who later expressed his wish to volunteer and give back to the community. Jarvis recommended the idea of holding mock interviews for special education students to help them gain interview experience. In the first year, the event was limited to just students in the special education program and the second year’s interviews were broadened to include Pathways students as well.

To the students, the interviews helped them gain confidence for and insight into the job application process.

“Starbucks is about spiritual growth in a way to make people more comfortable and welcome everyone,” senior Katherine Zambrano said. “The managers brought that to the table and let us be ourselves. I had a bad experience the first time I had a job interview, so this event opened my eyes. I learned what to say and prepared well for the interview.”