By Lizzie Turner, apprentice at the Minories, Tower Bridge, London.
Lizzie Turner joined Starbucks 3 months ago as an Apprentice, working in the Starbucks Minories store. Lizzie, who is 20 years old and from Dagenham, wants to run her own coffee shop one day and believes that by being part of the Starbucks Apprenticeship scheme, and gaining the qualifications in Barista Mastery and Customer Service will give her the skills she needs to do that.
Along with another 30 Apprentices, Lizzie visited Starbucks head office to see the business for herself before she started with the company. She brought her mum along so that she could also see what the company was like and be proud of what Lizzie was doing. This is Lizzie’s first job since leaving school, having completed her A-levels in English Literature in Barking in 2011.
‘All my life I have been a customer but being a customer at Starbucks was always different. Even if it was only a smile or a “How are you?”, I found the partners cared. They made an effort. I have had some of the best times of my life sitting in a Starbucks store. So, when I needed a job, it was one of the places I checked first.
The apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity, and it’s not easy! At the end of my first month my feet ached, my back ached, I had never been so tired in my life, and I loved it. I felt, for the first time, I was doing something worthwhile.
I’ve always dreamt of owning my own coffee shop one day and I put this on my application to Starbucks. I was a little worried that they would reject me, thinking that I was going to steal their business! Instead, they were interested in my dream and encouraged it. Through the apprenticeship I am learning all the valuable new skills I will need to run my own coffee shop.
There are lots of variables in the job. Early mornings, late nights and long weekends and obviously, you can never predict how busy the store will be, or how nice the customers are going to be. This is what I love but also find challenging about the job. You get people coming into stores who make eye contact, smile and joke a little. They thank you honestly and they recognise the person behind the apron, and sometimes you can get a tricky customer but you have to learn how to deal tactfully with this too.
This job is my ideal job. It’s quirky and unpredictable and full of delicious things you can eat and drink! I feel like I fit in and I feel like I am one of the family here and have amazing support from all of the partners. I like to read fantasy adventure books, play board games (Monopoly anyone?) and my favourite hobby is live action role playing which I do though The Lorian Trust. This is where we dress up in costume and we act out themes and characters in Arthurian legend – we even have the legendary sword, Excalibur!
But no matter how quirky, loud and nerdy I get, I’m still the girl who wants to open her coffee shop one day and this is the first step.’