Saxbys Cafe Bringing Experiential Learning To Smeal
Philadelphia-based coffee company Saxbys will open a new cafe inside the Business Building this fall as part of a partnership with Smeal to create a special hands-on learning opportunity. Students will be responsible for managing all aspects of the cafe, including outreach initiatives, team development, and finances.
Saxbys will choose one student per semester to serve as the “Student Cafe Executive Officer” overseeing all of these functions, who will receive a stipend and independent study credits. The first student will be selected in April so he or she can begin training in the summer for the cafe’s opening this fall.
“Research shows that experiential learning opportunities reinforce concepts learned in the classroom,” Smeal Dean Charles Whiteman said in a release. “This program will immerse students in a daily hands-on business learning environment, and it aligns with Penn State’s entrepreneurship, innovation and learning initiative that President Eric Barron has been spearheading.”
The Business Building’s current cafe, Blue Chip Bistro, will remain open for the rest of the spring semester, but Saxbys will take its place over the summer. Saxbys is working with Smeal to develop a “broader, specialized menu.” The cafe typically offers breakfast sandwiches, light lunch options, and baked goods.
Saxbys hosts similar programs at six other locations, including Drexel, Temple, Millersville, and La Salle. The company will begin recruiting students this month and plans to hire up to 100 students for leadership and barista jobs.
“We have long admired Penn State and the Smeal College of Business for their unwavering commitment to providing such a large array of diverse students with the knowledge, skills and perspective that the marketplace demands,” Saxbys CEO Nick Bayer said in a release. “I want to personally thank Smeal Alumni Advisory Board Member Timmy Garde for forging the path that ultimately led to us working with such an influential university. Smeal’s core values strongly echo the ideas our Experiential Learning Program is built on, and we’re thrilled to partner and advance our shared vision.”