Balancing work and school by finding jobs close by

It is no secret that college is expensive, and many students have to work while enrolled.

In Haverhill, however, there are some full-time students who find it a mutually beneficial relationship to be working close to school, and at small local businesses.

20-year-old student, Nicole Sabando, works as a waitress at the Bradford Village Square, located only 10 minutes off 495 from Northern Essex Community College.

Sabando explained “…I thought it would be a great opportunity to make some money close to campus. It also works out because I only go on campus a few times a week so I can work more hours.”

Sabando graduated from NECC last year and now attends classes at UMass Lowell.

She added “Diners are usually quiet during the week because of school and work, but I’ve tried my best to spice up the marketing,” she laughed,

“I use my knowledge of social media to get more business around here. I run the Instagram page for us.”

Bob Lapierre, the new owner of the Bradford Village Square, appreciates the work Sabando is doing, while balancing her school life, too.

Lapierre said “I find it amazing what these kids can do these days with social media — it has been incredibly crucial to our business. I also appreciate that I can give work to students around the Haverhill area. A few on our crew are college students, and I admire them infinitely.”

Lapierre is a Haverhill native. He did not go to college, but he expressed much admiration for students in school, having children who furthered their education and understanding the struggle from a parent’s perspective.

Sabando is a student majoring in Journalism, but she sees herself in a career involving Public Relations, as well.

She expressed “I’m getting more experience to put on my resume as well, by being the self-proclaimed social media manager here. I’m learning about demographics, how to advertise, and how to gain more media attention for the business. Overall, it has been very successful so far.”

Another student and server at the Bradford Village Square, Chloe Tuccolo, agreed with Sabando.
Tuccolo said “I have almost always worked at local businesses, and I find them to be much more accommodating to my class schedule than any corporate business.”

Tuccolo works most weekends at the diner because unlike Sabando, she has class commitments most days of the week.

“Somedays, I just need time to get all my homework done, or study for exams. But I still need to work. I had a hard time finding a job that would work around my schedule till now. And it’s awesome that it’s in Haverhill.”

Lapierre also brought up the issue of small businesses working through COVID-19 and the ever increasing prices to running a restaurant.

He said of this “You know, I think eating out has become less common with the fear of coronavirus. But these young kids bring in more business, I’ve found. They tell their friends and their classmates about it, and our customers are changing. I’m seeing more and more young people coming around—it’s awesome. Our waitstaff is the highlight of the place.”

Many small businesses in Haverhill have felt the effects of the pandemic, and so have students themselves.
Lapierre believes “Our students are the future. They’re innovative, motivated, and so creative. They’re also tech-smart, which I am not. I’m proud to employ the future of the Haverhill community, and they’re able to afford their education.”