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Summer Salaries: Tales from the Land of Retail


Drew Coel folding clothes at Old Navy - ANDIE PINGA
  • Andie Pinga
  • Drew Coel folding clothes at Old Navy
17-year-old Drew Coel takes pride in her job. As a sales associate at Old Navy in Williston, the South Burlington native enjoys immersing herself in the retail environment – sometimes even literally. With a laugh, Coel recounts the time she fell over a big pile of clothes, losing a piece of her jewelry in the process. After she graduates from high school next year, Coel plans to take a gap year before college and work to earn extra spending money. Continue reading to learn more about the teen's summer job. 

[jump] Kids VT: Why did you choose to work here?
Drew Coel: I've been to Old Navy for as long as I can remember. It's a store that my parents chose for my siblings clothing-wise. It’s familiar and I know the place.

KVT: Did you have an interview?
DC: I did. I sent in my resume and one of the managers sat me down and asked a few questions about who I am, what I like to do and why I think I could work here.

KVT: Did you go through an orientation process?
DC: I watched a couple of videos about what to do in certain circumstances – how to help customers and greet them. I also [learned about the foundation of the company]. After that, I got trained on the register, and it's just like scanning bar codes on things and what to do if someone wants to do a return.

KVT: What is the best part of your job?
DC: When I'm working by myself, I can put things in order and it’s satisfying when something looks nice because of what I did. [When] a table of clothes that I've folded looks really good, I'm like, Okay, I'm really proud of this. And the time goes pretty fast because you're listening to music and just kind of doing your thing.

KVT: How much do you earn? And do you plan to save or spend your money?
DC: I believe it's $9.25 an hour. In the past, I've not been so careful about my spending, but now with going to college, it would be beneficial if I save that money.

KVT: Do you think the skills you're learning at your job will help you later in life?
DC: I would say so. I'm still unsure about what I want to do with my time when I’m older, but knowing how to manage your time and working with other people is important. 

KVT: Any advice for other teens looking for jobs?
DC: Jobs go pretty quickly. Before the summer even starts, people are applying for jobs because that's what they want to do. My advice is to start your research early, look into the criteria for jobs, and think about if that's something that you would be interested in. 

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.