For Jazmyn Woolston, a great day at work is putting smiles on her customers’ faces.
The 18-year-old has put her UCOL Food and Beverage Service Level 3 qualification to good use for the last eight months as the front of house Barista at Café Du Monde in Turakina, where she also takes orders and works in the kitchen.
“I thoroughly enjoy interacting with customers and getting to know the regulars. There is definitely something special about giving good food and service – it is an art!”
Jazmyn says she knew she had a passion for hospitality and customer service. “When I looked at UCOL’s Food and Beverage programme, it was perfect to help me start building the knowledge and skills to work in the industry.”
Recommended to her by teachers and friends, she was impressed with UCOL’s variety of opportunities. “It stood out to me as a very accessible learning environment with so much support available,” she says.
Jazmyn also found that UCOL was constantly providing practical and learning assistance. As a Youth Guarantee student, she received funding for shoes and uniforms. “The team were right by your side when needed.”
Jazmyn says she enjoyed the variety during her studies, from making coffee to creating flash cocktails. “It was brilliant! My lecturers Jenn and Niels made it so enjoyable, I take my hat off to them for their amazing teaching.”
She and her fellow students got work experience by setting up and running Ambitions, the UCOL restaurant that is open to the public. “That experience was super important – it helped me understand great customer service and build my confidence when dealing with customers. It really sharpened my skills for the workforce outside those walls.”
Jazmyn’s future plans and dreams are constantly changing. “I think right now I am happy working full time as it gives me the time to plan my next step. My ultimate goal is to own my own business, whatever that may be. As long as I am making people smile.”
The Youth Guarantee scheme is a government initiative providing learning opportunities for students to achieve a minimum of National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) level two or equivalent credits and create more successful transitions from school to study and work.