Juice bar a real-world experience for students

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Andy Chung pulls out a blender filled with a mixed 800-Pound Gorilla juice drink at the juice bar in Mesa State College’s Maverick Center. Students in the business department are operating the juice bar as a hand-on experiment to prepare them for the real world. Chung himself is a junior majoring in finanace management.

Students get a paycheck and life experience by working at Juice Junction in the Mesa State College Maverick Center.

The 15 students employed at the juice bar not only serve the smoothies, Clif bars, bagels and breakfast burritos sold at the counter, they manage the finances, have a student manager who controls hiring and scheduling, and learn the ins and outs of business, such as ordering from suppliers.

Most of the workers are members of the college’s business department, which helped bring the idea to fruition. A student came to the department last year with an idea to have a refrigerator full of nutritious drinks for sale outside the new fitness center. Phi Beta Lambda, the college version of Future Business Leaders of America, in Mesa State’s business department helped mold the idea into a larger project. As a result, Juice Junction opened Dec. 21.

Mesa State College junior Megan Lane said she has learned a lot from her experience as manager of Juice Junction, including problem solving and making decisions under pressure.

“I do the hiring, I do the scheduling, and I oversee everything,” Lane said.

Lane said she would like to take this experience and apply what she has learned as a manager somewhere after college.

Employees aren’t the only ones using Juice Junction as a learning opportunity. Students in accounting, marketing and economics classes at the college are working on an accounting system, promotions ideas and economic plans for the juice bar.

Juice Junction offers smoothies for $4 for a small and $5 for a large. All other items are $3 or less.

The juice bar will remain open year-round and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.


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