For most students at Bradley, Lydia’s Lounge is just another place to get food and hang out.
For students in FCS 405, however, it is a place to earn class credit and gain valuable experience for their future careers.
“Working at Lydia’s Lounge is great hands-on experience and is directly related to our future careers,” said Kelly Evola, senior dietetics major and student supervisor at Lydia’s Lounge. “Students learn how to work equipment, as well as see what it’s like to work in a food service setting. I worked here last year, and I’ve returned this year to help on weekends and supervise.”
While Lydia’s Lounge is open from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday, students tend to work much longer hours.
“Students usually work from about 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.,” said Martha Dallmeyer, the instructor of FCS 405. “They need to be here to prepare food for students, as well as take inventory and clean up at the end of the night.
They also learn new skills, application of dietetics, how to cost and price food and sanitation practices. Students working here clearly have a lot of responsibilities.”
Senior dietetics major Laurel Augsburger, a student in FCS 405, said she appreciates the career experience gained from working at Lydia’s Lounge.
“Working here gives us really great experience,” she said. “We get to see all aspects of the food service and gain experience doing jobs that we wouldn’t normally know how to do otherwise.”
Students working at Lydia’s Lounge pick five different times to work per semester in order to get class credit, Evola said.
“It’s just the lab for our class,” she said. “If you work here and you’re in FCS 405, you get class credit.”
Sara McCarthy, another senior dietetics major and student in FCS 405, said she agreed there is a lot of responsibility involved.
“Each time we work here, we take on a different responsibility than we had the last time we worked,” she said. “We take orders on the register, grill food, fry food, take inventory and basically run the place. Having a class work in a place like Lydia’s Lounge is relatively new, so there are a few bumps but we’re learning and we can deal with it.”
Although working at Lydia’s Lounge is a lot of work, McCarthy, Evola and Augsburger said they agreed it is also a good time.
“I get to teach students how to do certain things around here, and I like doing that,” Evola said. “It can be pretty fun.”