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Learning by leading: General Manager at The Bistro

by Jennifer Johnson,

Campus employment at Willamette University offers students more than a chance to make money. In the "Learning by Leading" series, we talk to student employees about the real-world experience they gain and the interpersonal communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills they develop while on the job. 

Hannah Jones
Hannah Jones BS’23

Name: Hannah Jones BS’23

Major: Biochemistry

Title: General manager at The Bistro  

What are your main job duties? I oversee the wellbeing and general functioning of The Bistro on a day-to-day basis, as well as prepare and plan for its future. I handle hiring, training, scheduling, and any possible reprimanding of about 25 employees. I work closely with the financial and kitchen managers to ensure each area of The Bistro is running smoothly and effectively. I’m the contact for any catering orders, or space reservations, and I work with our social media intern to promote and market The Bistro. If something goes wrong, I’m usually the person people contact in order to figure things out.

What leadership skills does your role teach you? This role has taught me how to effectively communicate with others, as well as manage a large group of people in a very chaotic and ever changing environment. I have learned how to adapt to situations around me, in addition to problem solving and how to actively look for solutions. 

I’ve also learned how to balance a lot of different responsibilities at once. Between relaying information to staff, to groups on campus interested in buying Bistro Bucks, answering questions from parents, and having multiple meetings a week, I wear a lot of different hats. I have become much more versatile.

Why is this a great job? The people make this job what it is! I have a great staff team that love what they do, and are so passionate about The Bistro. We all care about this space immensely, and will do what we can to make it a safe space for students at Willamette. The community here is like nothing I’ve seen before, and this will always be one of my favorite places to work.

Name one surprising thing about working there. How much goes on behind the scenes! I had no idea how complex and intricate it is until I started working here. People would be surprised if they knew how much effort goes into every cookie and drink we sell. From ordering each item, to teaching others how to steam milk, so much preparation is behind everything we do. It’s a crazy and busy place to work, but very few know what it’s like for those behind the counter serving the long line of customers.

Willamette University

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Willamette University
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Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.