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From Baked Goods to Burgers: Working on Campus

In high school, if anyone was looking for me Saturday or Sunday morning, they knew to come to Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts. I first started working at the mom-and-pop donut shop when I was 15, so by the end of my senior year going in for early morning shifts, boxing donuts, and brewing pot after pot of coffee was second nature. As summer came to an end and move-in day swiftly approached I was faced with a question I hadn’t had to think about in years: What will I do for work?

A donut on a counter with the time-stamp 3:19 AM over it.
Above: When I said early mornings I meant it - we opened at 4:00AM!

First, I had to decide when I wanted to start working. A lot of my friends wanted to wait a semester or two before beginning to work on campus so they would have time to adjust to Harvard and their classes first. I was torn between taking time off and jumping right in. I also had to decide what kind of job I wanted. I had experience working in two different restaurants in my hometown, so I was looking at student-run cafes and grilles, libraries, shops, and offices in and around campus. In the end, the decision made itself for me. Within my first week at Harvard, an upperclassman pointed me in the direction of the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub.

Logo for the Cambridge Queen's Head Pub

Photo Credit: Courtesy of

Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub (or CQH) is a student-run pub and restaurant in the basement of Annenberg Hall, Harvard’s freshman dining hall. Undergraduate students can visit the restaurant for food, trivia, karaoke, and - if 21 or older - a drink! It’s staffed by a combination of undergraduate student staff and managers and graduate student managers. Additionally, the work environment is known for being very inclusive and tight-knit. I was already certified to bartend in Massachusetts and could work one shift a weekend, meaning I didn’t have to worry about my shift conflicting with my classes or activities. It was exactly what I was looking for! I worked at CQH my entire freshman year and loved it. I learned how to open and close the pub, run karaoke, and make killer wings!

The tables and set-up of the Winthrop Grille

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Winthrop House Grille Facebook

Above: The wall literally opens up to “reveal” the Grille!

At the end of the year I received an email from the manager of the Winthrop Grille, the student-run restaurant in my soon-to-be home of Winthrop House, looking for new student managers. I thought it would be convenient to work in the same building I’ll be living in next year so I applied and was hired to run the restaurant along with two co-managers. Not only did working on campus introduce me to new people and help me learn new skills, but it led me to managing a restaurant as an undergraduate student. Be sure to visit me at the Winthrop Grille in the fall for the best mozzarella sticks around!


About the author

Hello! My name is Ally Scharmann and I’m a sophomore from Western Massachusetts living in Winthrop House. I plan to concentrate in Social Studies with a secondary in History of Art and Architecture... View full profile

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