By Hannah Newman
School record-breaking javelin thrower and junior information systems major Grace Ramsey is advancing their college career after taking on the role of student cafe executive officer (SCEO) for the fall semester of the 2022 school year.
Saxbys Certified B Corp. is an experiential learning program with a mission to ‘Make Life Better” for the community that surrounds it. The network of cafes are designed for college students to run, giving them real-world business involvement. The unprecedented exposure as a SCEO allows undergraduate students to implement classroom learning and apply it to the cafe, bringing hands-on experience in the workforce to a collegiate environment.
Ramsey, who goes by she/they pronouns, has worked at Saxbys since its doors opened on campus last fall. After applying for the SCEO position in the spring, Ramsey then attended multiple interviews, including one with Saxbys CEO Nick Bayer. Once they got the position, Ramsey then spent two weeks at the Saxbys’ headquarters in Philadelphia training for the role.
The training of an SCEO is built on the grounds of three business concepts: team development, community leadership and financial management. These principals are built into a three week curriculum. Two weeks were spent in-person, while one was online. The first week of in-person training was spent learning how to properly prepare the beverages and meals. Students do not have to be a former Saxbys worker to apply for the SCEO position; however, if they have never worked behind the counter, the first week of training is mandatory, whereas those that were employees prior to obtaining the SCEO position do not have to be present.
In the second week of training, Ramsey was sent to the University of Pennsylvania’s Saxbys location with other SCEOs where they trained and rotated working in every position that is embedded into the business, including host, team lead and SCEO. The online course focused on the different elements of business management such as ordering products, payroll and schedule creating.
The SCEO recruiters seek students with a willingness to learn each day, a positive outlook on life and passion for not just Saxbys, but the title they represent.
Senior campus recruiter Shannon McQuaid said, “In my eyes, the main goal of being Student CEO is to give students the confidence to not only reach but surpass goals that they’ve set for themselves after their tenures as SCEO. Being SCEO can be challenging, but I truly believe when a student steps away from this role, they learn so much about themselves and what they value in life and their career.”
In relation to this belief, Brand Communication Manager Sajeda Virji considers the role as an SCEO a chance to “empower the next generation of change makers.”
“Being a part of the team at Saxbys provides the opportunity to make life better in your community. We’re always looking to grow our team and encourage all students to apply. I’m so inspired by Student CEOs because I think to myself, could I have been 19 or 20-years-old and run an entire business and be responsible for managing so many employees?” said Virji.
Aside from running the cafe and attending classes, Ramsey is a women’s javelin thrower who broke the school’s record of 143 feet with 146 feet thrown. Ramsey threw javelin throughout high school and wanted to hone her skills in college. Ramsey knew very early in her college career that Rider was the perfect fit.
“I am so happy I chose Rider. I have found my life long friends, and my education has been amazing,” said Ramsey.
This new lifestyle of balancing track, class and running a business has inspired Ramsey to dedicate her independent case study to time management.
“I did not think it was going to be this hard,” said Ramsey. “Although I knew it would not be an easy job, learning how to manage time is preparing me for my future.”
Jay Roberson, copy editor for The Rider News, is the partner of Ramsey and did not take part in writing or editing this piece.