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.
From sandwiches to pasta, cookies to cakes, handmade cocktails, or even the multi layered “Dancing Latte”, you can always enjoy the great home-made food and beverages at Yunshan Café.
The Yunshan Sandwich[Photo/Yunshan Café Wechat official account]
Among all the Yunshan Student Work-Study programs, the Yun Shan Café is the most distinguished—not only for its location, age, or performance, but most importantly the opportunity for growth it offers to the students who work there.
Not only was Yunshan Café the very first Student Work-Study program at GDUFS, but it is also the only one located outside of the school campus, about 400 meters away from the west gate of Baiyun Mountain and right next to the GDUFS testing center. It is open from 9:00 to 21:30 on work days, with all the staffing positions being occupied by students, including waiters, the cashier and the baristas. In addition, students here are divided into different department such as marketing, beverages, finance, human resource and general affairs. By working here, students can acquire skills ranging from managing to coffee making, accounting to menu designing.
The original and best-selling “Guangwai Da” Coffee made by student baristas
[Photo/Yunshan Café Wechat official account]
“I have really learned a lot since I started working here,” said Tang Jianrui, one of the staff in the HR department of Yunshan Café, emphasizing that the job has given her tangible skills that may one day be useful to her as a professional. “I’ve learned how to attract more employees during the recruiting season, and also how to communicate with customers in a proper way.”
Tang Jianrui recalling her working experience [Photo/ Wu Wendi]
Though the students learn many lessons during their work, they may confront hardships from time to time. First of all, since the café is also open to customers outside of school—mainly exhausted mountain climbers and anxious exam takers—waiters here are forced to deal with people who are relatively less patient and more demanding. Therefore, all staff undergo a strict trial period as a waiter or waitress before they are officially employed. Moreover, in order to guarantee food safety, all the fruit and vegetables need to be carefully cleaned and every cup and plate requires strict disinfection every day.
“I did think during my trial period that I was not suitable for this job because it was so strict,” Tang said when recalling her first working experience here, “but after working here for almost a year, I now understand that all the strictness is necessary for providing home-like service for our customers. Also, all the staffs here are so nice that they make me feel as if this was our home.”
Though sometimes there may be demanding customers, most of them are very understanding like “Uncle Black Tea”. “Uncle Black Tea” is a nickname given by the student staffs to a middle-aged man who always asks for a cup of black tea and two fried eggs every time he comes. He has been eating here for years, even longer than many of the present staff. Having witnessed the development of Yunshan Café and generations of students working here, he deeply understands how hardworking these young people are therefore he is always satisfied with their service. “To me, he’s like a caring parent of this family,” said Tang.
Yunshan Café offers a home-like place for its customers[Photo/Wu Wendi]
Indeed, Yunshan Café not only offers a rest place for its customers, but it is also a relaxing place for all the students who work here. For example, every year they will have an activity called “the heart-warming coffee cup stage” specifically for their senior graduate staffs. This is a stage where the graduates look back to the time they have spent working here and the moments they have had with their co-workers. This is also a stage where all the other workers give their best wishes to the graduates. Every year this stage moves many of the employees to tears.
For its customers, Yunshan Café provides home-made food that is healthy and tasty. As for its staff members, it is also a home-like place where they work, laugh and grow together.
The Yunshan Café[Photo/Tang Jianrui]