Knights at Work

Where did Bishop’s students work over the summer?

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Eric Chen

Eric Chen (’24) worked as a student aide at Gateways, where he helped out with magic class for first and second graders.

Isadora Blatt, Graphics Editor

For high school students, summertime brings more than a break from schoolwork. It means the rediscovery of free time; a chance to take matters into our own hands and do something for ourselves. 

For upperclassmen especially, with college approaching on the horizon, it’s important to get some experience under your belt and earn some money on your own by getting a job. This summer, many Bishop’s students took advantage of the opportunity and spent the summer soaking up the workplace experience.

Alex Ozarski (‘24) started working at La Jolla Kayak mid-May, a popular choice for Bishop’s students, and the job was a perfect fit. “I wanted to do something productive with my time, make money, and get some experience in.” Her job consisted of answering phone calls, dealing with rentals and product sales, and giving customers the rundown on their kayak or snorkeling tours. “My favorite part about it is the work environment,” she said. “Everyone there is always in an uplifting mood, which just makes things more fun and lively all around.” She also enjoyed all the new connections the job gave her. “I feel like I’m constantly meeting new people because I work with different people day-to-day depending on who is scheduled,” she explained.

Brooke Fitz-Cluster (‘23) worked at the Shores as well, at Bike and Kayak Tours. She also enjoyed the new connections that she made. “I get to deal with a lot of tourists, and I love being able to meet different people from all over,” she said.

On the other hand, Natasha Mar (‘23) has been working at her family’s restaurant, Takhrai Tai, since her freshman year. Over the past few months, she took the opportunity to train two of her friends, Nancy Waldman (‘23) and Alicia Zhou (‘23), who wanted to work there as well. “I was interested in what it was like to be a server rather than a customer,” Alicia said. “I also wanted to work somewhere that brought me closer to East Asian culture, and working at a Thai restaurant was perfect because I love learning more about Thai food.” She was grateful for the warm and welcoming ambiance that the staff created. “I feel a sense of pride and responsibility when packaging takeout, taking orders, or even setting the tables,” she shared. “Working at Takhrai is more than just a job.” 

Alicia appreciated all that she learned from the experience. In particular, she found prioritization was especially important in between tasks, such as preparing sides or drinks on a busy day. “Learning how to take orders was a daunting task at first, but over time I grew more confident about the ordering system,” she said. Alicia believes that everyone should try working in customer service. “You learn not only how to efficiently take orders and answer questions, but also how to be polite and warm even in the busiest hours,” she explained. 

Natasha Mar (’23) (right) trained Nancy Waldman (’23) (left) and Alicia Zhou (’23) to work at her family’s restaurant, Takhrai Tai.

Natasha embraced the challenge of training Nancy and Alicia, since it was both of their first working experiences. “Since I have the advantage of understanding [both the language and the food], I had to put myself in their shoes and think about how to approach teaching them about serving as well as Thai culture and food,” she said. She often had to be flexible if certain things weren’t done the way she was used to. However, the two were very quick learners. “It makes me really proud and happy to see how much they’ve grown over the course of just a few weeks,” she said.

Eric Chen (‘24) worked as a Student Aide at Gateways, a summer camp that offers classes primarily for elementary school kids. His job consisted of supervising first and second graders in Magic class, walking them to their next class, and helping the teacher with tasks. “It’s pretty fun, although a little more difficult than I expected,” he said, explaining that he had to slowly learn more and more about the best ways to manage large groups of kids. “It’s annoying when they don’t listen and they talk over you, and it can be difficult since you have to show up with the same energy every day no matter what.” In general, though, he’s enjoyed spending time with the kids. “Of course, I like making my own money, but I also really like interacting with the kids. I was just like them when I was their age,” he reflected.

In all of these cases, having a summer job proved to be fun and worthwhile. “It’s something I think everyone should experience,” said Alicia. Next summer, get out there and try it for yourself!