Last year, 15-year-old Lauren Donovan began working at Zachary's Pizza in her hometown of South Burlington to start saving money for college. Donovan is part of the Arcade Crew, serving customers and fixing arcade games in Zachary’s Family Fun Center. Her favorite part of the job? Being around coworkers, most of whom are around her age. Learn more about the ins and outs of this teen's summer job below.
Kids VT: Why did you choose this job?
Lauren Donovan: It's close to where I live, and it's a nice, quiet little place. The people that worked here seemed nice when I came in, and its family-friendly.
KVT: What was the application process like?
LD: I just filled out an application [at the end of last summer] since they were busy and they were short some people… [Before I started], they taught me how to fix the arcade games, so that's a perk. They taught me how to take peoples' orders, like use the little screen thing. Most of it was pretty simple.
KVT: How much do you make?
LD: I get $9.60 an hour. Then [at the Family Fun Center], you get tips, so that adds up. Sometimes you can go with getting [no tips], but sometimes you can go and get $20. One time I got $60 because a lady came into the party and she knew the other person I was working with. She left $120, and we split that. She was a very nice lady.
KVT: How often do you work?
LD: I work an average of five days a week. Some days I work 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or some days it’s just 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. [During the school year,] it’s more like 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and only three or four days a week.
KVT: What do you do with the money you earn?
LD: I save all the checks I get, and then I spend the tips on whatever I feel like that week.
KVT: What's the best part of your job?
LD: The people that work here are really cool. Sometimes we'll go out on little parties, like when we went to Get Air, a trampoline park. We went as a giant group and we actually ran into more coworkers there.
KVT: Any job advice for other teens?
LD: If you're 15, I definitely recommend a summer job, not a school job. That’s what was really hard with this — having to deal with this job, and then going home and doing homework. I think that definitely 16 is a better time to have a school job because you're out of freshman year and you can handle high school.