17-year-old Nathan Kakalec loves to eat, so it's fitting that his summer job is with a catering company. The South Burlington teen travels around Vermont with Colchester-based Cloud 9 Caterers
, helping with food preparation at weddings and other events and washing dishes. Though the job requires lots of time on his feet and a good amount of grunt work, Kakalec says he likes working with a local business and "contributing to the community."
Kids VT: Why did you choose this job?
Nathan Kakalec: Well, my parents told me to get a job last summer. I wanted to work in the food industry, so I emailed a bunch of food trucks asking if they needed employment. The Hindquarter, [a food truck] owned by Cloud 9, emailed me back and was like, "We have a job with a catering company.” Then I started washing dishes on Sundays. I didn't really want to [cook the food], but I just kind of wanted to be there for the experience.
KVT: How much do you make?
NK: $10 an hour. I usually only work on weekends, so a wedding on Saturday and then the cleanup on Sunday, but I don’t work every week. I worked a little into the fall last year, but I generally [didn't work during the school year].
KVT: Do you plan to save or spend your money?
NK: I plan to save a good portion of the money I earn on college-related costs, but I occasionally spend some of it on food, gifts and recreational activities.
KVT: Do you think you're learning skills that will help you later in life?
NK: I guess if I ever want to get a job in the food industry, it'll help. Aside from that, I learned how to work hard and that what you put in is what you get out. I think that those skills carry for the rest of your life no matter what you do.
KVT: What is the best part of the job?
NK: I like my coworkers and I've definitely learned some stuff about cooking. And I also like leftovers. They're really good.