Editor’s note: The Yunshan Student Work-Study of GDUFS was established in September 2003. To date, it has founded 22 venues for work-study, including the Yunshan Coffee House, Yunshan Fitness Room, Yunshan Bakery and the Yunshan Images, providing nearly 2000 work-study positions for students in total. All of these economic entities are managed independently by students under the guidance of the Student Work Department. Students can hold the posts of directors, managers and employees, providing an opportunity for them to fully utilize their enthusiasm and creativity. The Yunshan Student Work-Study program achieves the dual goals of aiding students in need and cultivating entrepreneurial practice, allowing them to better engage with the market and society. This series aims to introduce the “Yunshan Work-Study Program” to better deepen appreciation and understanding of the program on campus.
The Yunshan Fruit Store, also called Pingo by the students, is located on the first floor of the Sports Building of the North Campus. The Yunshan Pingo Fruit Store offers a wide variety of fruits and fruit products to GUDFSers, such as bananas, oranges, apples, cantaloups, avocado milkshakes, and chilled mango sago cream with pomelo. Students go into the store after class or meals and pick up their favorite fruits or drinks. Also, it provides many work-study positions to students as one of the entities under GDUFS’s Yunshan Student Work-study program.
Yunshan Pingo Fruit Store
Pingo normally opens at 7:30 am and closes at 10:30 pm. Employees work for two and a half to three hours per shift. Their daily work is to place the fruit on the fruit shelf, pack the fruit pieces into round packing boxes, put fruit drinks into the fridge, and of course, check out. There are usually two fruit workers in charge of washing and cutting fruits as well as making fruit drinks. Workers are almost occupied during the day. They need to work until 1 pm to have their lunch.
A worker slices fruit
One of the student employees told me that they offer takeaway service. Customers order in a WeChat group, and employees will send the products to their dormitory building. Therefore, employees need to pay attention to their notifications and respond to customers’ needs on time. Customers can also give feedback in an after-sales WeChat group. On March 15th (World Consumer Rights Day), Pingo invited students to fill in a questionnaire aimed at knowing the quality of service. The results showed that Pingo did a great job in customer response.
“Bananas are the best selling among fruits. In terms of drinks, the top three drinks are chilled mango sago cream with pomelo, chilled strawberry sago cream, and avocado sago cream,” said Lv Yiqiong, an assistant manager in the accounting department. One of my classmates said her favorite drink is chilled mango sago cream with pomelo as it tastes fresh and cool in summer. What’s more, she thinks it is great to have hot drinks in winter so that customers can still enjoy delicious drinks on cold days.
Different fruits have their growing seasons. Thus, Pingo adjusts its products based on the weather and climate. Talking about what’s new recently, Liu Tao, the marketing director, told me that mulberry with coconut milk will make its first appearance. Besides, he said Pingo will increase the herbal tea varieties appropriately according to the climate. "Pingo also features with the herbal tea. Herbal tea that can relieve heat is available for the whole year. The Spring in the southern part of China is easily getting damp and hot, so the herbal tea we have launched recently can clear away the damp."
Fruits on the shelf
Pingo not only sells fruits and herbal tea. Last semester, Pingo cooperated with Yunshan Nutrition Bakery and launched a Chinese breakfast service. To name a few, they offer steamed dumplings, fried dumplings, pan-fried baozi stuffed with pork, and barbecue pork bao. All of these products are hand-made by workers in the Yunshan Nutrition Bakery. In his own words, “The work was probably the busiest every morning on weekdays last year, as students needed their breakfast to arrive at the dormitory building before online class began.”
Lv Yiqiong said that she gained so much knowledge and learned a lot of skills relevant to accounting. “My leadership and organizing ability have improved. Above all, it’s nice to know friendly people and make friends with them.” When asked about her expectations for the future, she hoped that Pingo can make steady progress and strengthen publicity.
“I think entities like Pingo provide a really good environment where students can experience the business atmosphere and business rules, and at the same time, it’s more fair and free,” Liu said. “The programs are a transition from school to full-time work and real society. Everyone is good, and I’ve met a lot of good friends.” Even better, after his experience working at Pingo, one of Liu’s dreams is to open a store of his own. “I just love the feeling of running a business of my own,” he said.