By: Mateo Osorno
When it comes to fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders, Georgia State University has always been at the forefront. In this spirit, we’re excited to spotlight an incredible collaboration between Saxbys and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business that is set to reshape the future of experiential learning on our campus.
This partnership, born from a year of careful planning and dedicated efforts, represents our unwavering commitment to experiential learning, a cornerstone of our educational philosophy. As Jennifer Sherer, the Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute (ENI), expressed, “Our partnership with Saxby’s creates unique and intensive learning experiences for our students. These kinds of immersive opportunities prepare students well for their careers as entrepreneurs or any path they choose to pursue.”
Saxbys Mission and Social Impact: Education Disguised as Coffee
Saxbys’ mission is more than just brewing coffee; it’s about brewing a brighter future. They are an education company disguised as a coffee company, driven by the singular mission of making life better. The belief that education and opportunity go hand-in-hand forms the bedrock of their mission, extending to all students, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.
Their mission, “Make Life Better,” is not just a catchphrase; it’s the driving force behind their social impact and community outreach efforts. Their journey began with their first Experiential Learning Platform (E.L.P.) café in 2015, where student team members flourished. This epiphany led to the realization that education and the opportunities it provides are where Saxbys can create lasting change in the communities they serve. Education is at the core of their operations, whether it’s through training, recruitment, or daily activities. Their focus is on equipping team members with the skills and consciousness to become leaders in their communities.
Shaping Tomorrow’s Business Leaders
The Saxbys E.L.P. café, operated by Georgia State students, is a dynamic addition to our campus. This platform offers our students the chance to gain practical experience in a bustling, on-campus B Corporation. It empowers our students with the skills and competencies that are in high demand in today’s economy. What’s more, Saxbys SCEOs (Student Café Executive Officers) are gaining employment faster than the average graduate, underscoring the effectiveness of this experiential approach.
Introducing Kaydia Benjamin: ENI’s Shining Star
At the heart of this transformative endeavor lies Kaydia Benjamin, ENI’s very own inaugural Student Café Executive Officer (SCEO). A major in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Africana Studies, Kaydia’s journey as the SCEO at Saxbys @GSU has been a unique and transformative experience. She remarks, “Stepping into the role of SCEO at Saxbys @GSU is a unique journey. It’s not just about coffee; it’s about learning and leadership. I’m looking forward to the experience and invite fellow students to be part of this transformative endeavor.” In her role, Kaydia plays a pivotal part in overseeing the café’s operations and ensuring its success.
In Kaydia’s words, “I have learned so much through this experience, and I would say this would be for anyone who wants to challenge themselves to put themselves in a different environment. It’s definitely been a learning curve and it will continue to be that, but it has been probably one of the best hands-on experiences in business that I have had thus far, and it doesn’t compare to the classes that I’ve taken. And as a business student, it has been very cool to see all the things and concepts that I’m learning in my courses come to life within this class.”
Kaydia sagely advises future Student CEOs to do their research and be prepared, but above all to “know that it is a journey, so not everything will go correctly the first time, and that’s okay, you’re going to mess up. Your team members are going to mess up. We’re all learning together. It’s a learning café, so just keep that in mind.”
Join the Saxbys Team!
For Georgia State students with a shared enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, management, and hospitality, Saxbys Café offers an exciting platform for experiential learning. If you are among those keen to be part of this unique venture, we invite you to explore the various positions available and apply on the Saxbys platform or on Handshake. These positions are open to students majoring in Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality Administration. This offers a valuable chance to gain practical experience in a dynamic and innovative environment.
On Nov. 15, Georgia State University witnessed a momentous occasion as the Saxbys Café officially opened its doors. The atmosphere was filled with anticipation and excitement, as students, staff and faculty gathered to celebrate the launch of this innovative learning platform. It was a day to remember, symbolizing the beginning of a transformative journey that will continue to shape the future of experiential learning at Georgia State University.
The partnership between Saxbys and the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State is a testament to the university’s dedication to experiential learning and innovation. It’s a unique opportunity for students like Kaydia to learn, lead, and shape the future The grand opening of the Saxbys Café marked the beginning of an exciting journey, and as we continue to brew success, we invite all students to be a part of this transformative experience.
Congratulations to Kaydia and to the entire Saxbys team – welcome to Georgia State University!
Current Georgia State students majoring in Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality Administration are invited to apply for the SCEO position at https://www.saxbyscoffee.com/careers/?gh_jid=6001499002 or https://gsu.joinhandshake.com/
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute exists to help you develop your ideas, build your business, and seize opportunities. Visit eni.gsu.edu to find out more.