Grad Student by Day, Beer Pourer by Night

Hello and welcome to the experience of reading one of my somewhat entertaining blog posts.

I’m here to tell you all a little something about my personal life. Now, I understand that most of you don’t care but I’m going to tell you anyway because…well….talking about myself is probably on my top ten favorite things to do.

One of the most common “bar talk” questions I get at the pub is “so are you a student here?” and let me tell you, I love that question. Not only do I get to say why YES I am, but I also get to say that I am a graduate student. The facial expressions I get usually involve shock. Like “what the hell is a prestigious graduate student doing working at a bar?” Well first off, I’m really not that prestigious. And second, I LOVE my job and refuse to give it up until I have to.

When I first got hired at Iron Horse it was to be full time. I came to know a lot of our regular customers and the job really well. I loved being more than “just a server” and was especially enjoying making some decent money. I worked at [ the pub ] full time for about a year before going back to school.

Most people would be extremely excited to start the path to their dream career, and I definitely was, but I was also a little sad because it meant that I had to give up a lot of wonderful hours at [ the pub ]. Like I said before, I LOVE my job so going from full time to twice a week was a little bit heart-breaking for me.

Many of the regular customers that I came to know and love pre-grad school will come in on the rare occasions that I am working the bar and be surprised to see me there. I hate that I can’t be there as much as I used to, but unfortunately school has taken precedence in my life. I have come to realize, however, that on these rare occasions that I do work and get to see my great customers, it is even more special than before.

The next question I get after saying that I am a graduate student is “so what are you studying?” Another question I love to get. So here’s the low down….I am attending grad school to obtain my degree in School Psychology, which is an Education Specialist Degree. No…this doesn’t mean school counselor or guidance counselor, it means “School Psychologist.” Yes…I am going to be a psychologist for a school one day. If you are unfamiliar with education roles I will not hold it against you if you call me a school counselor. However, that is not anywhere close to what I will be doing. A school psychologist’s role is to assess and provide intervention for students in need. Whether it be behavioral, emotional/social, academic, or cognitive…I will be part of the student’s and family’s team of aid. This is such a rewarding career and I am working my buns off to become the best school psych that I can be. Giving up my beer pouring days, however, is not going to be easy.

It’s not really the actual beer pouring that I’m going to miss though. Don’t get me wrong, I love smelling like beer and ruining a good pair of shoes, but the atmosphere and my customers are what make my job so rewarding. Iron Horse has been nothing but good to me. They have fully supported me in all of my personal career decisions, helped me out with hours while I’m back in school, and even let me use their kids to practice giving psychological assessments (thanks Slops). Being part of this team has taught me a lot about my career and what I want to look for when I get into my “big girl” job, another reason I will be sad to leave.

Balancing this bartender/grad student thing isn’t always easy but having full support on both ends makes it 100% doable. So enough about me, but thank YOU. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this journey!

–Bri

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