“One of the Better Jobs” – An Interview with Ian Erickson – Barista at the Ronj


Ian Erickson, a junior from Saint Albans, Vermont, explains that being a Barista at the Ronj is one of the better jobs on campus. When asked what he enjoys the least about his job, he had difficulty giving a reason, but when asked what he enjoys about the job, he had a mouthful to say. “I enjoy talking to people. The Ronj itself is a great part of the community and it has a great image and ethos, so it is really great to be apart of that and talk to so many people and be associated with that really positive and inclusive attitude.”

Ian has been doing this job for years. He heard about the Ronj before he even started his first year at Bates, but during his freshman year, he heard about the job position within the first couple of weeks of school opening. “A lot has changed from my freshman year until right now.” Ian explains the application process being completely different then, than it is now because there wasn’t Handhshake during his first year. Instead, he explained having to walk to the Ronj, and sign up for an interview. He did exactly that, and a couple of weeks after his interview, he got an email saying he was hired.

His job as a barista requires him to make drinks for people, clean dishes, and make sure the Ronj is running smoothly. Ian explains that sometimes he has to set up for an event, but overall the tasks are pretty simple. Ian works one day every Sunday. All students at the Ronj are guaranteed a four hour shift each week. This semester, both his shifts happen to fall on Sunday, so he works from 1-5pm.

Ian explains that the work environment always depends on the day that you are working. “I love working on Sundays because I have time to make drinks and talk to people, however, I have worked on a Wednesday before, which is Dollar Chai night, and it gets very insane and really busy so that can be stressful since it gets packed really quickly.”

Ian is a politics major and a rhetoric minor. Although working as a Barista is not something he sees himself doing in the future, he has still gained some skills and knowledge from the job. “I can see myself doing this job next year. I’ve worked this job every year of my Bates career so it is definitely something that I want to continue.” Ian continues to explain that his job doesn’t require any experience and it’s not related to a certain academic discipline, so it’s a job that everyone can do. He explains his job being a good experience to have although he doesn’t want to be a Barista in the future. “It has taught me certain skills to maintain a brand, work with others, and to maintain and establish a good work ethic.” Ian looks forward to the last few semesters working at the Ronj before graduation next year