Around 700 SUNY Oswego students work for Auxiliary Services, which runs dining operations, and most of them work in dining halls? SUNY Oswego News checked out what a day in the life of a dining hall worker is, thanks to senior wellness management major Sara Meal.

"I just go down the line and pretty much check everything," Meal noted toward the start of her shift in Pathfinder Dining Center. "My job, I'm the group leader here, so I've had a lot of experience out in the dining room. But in terms of other positions in the dining room, there's really no hierarchy. Some people start in the dish room, some people start in the dining room, some people start on the serving line. And you can tell the managers if you like a certain area or if you don't like a certain area, and they'll be happy enough to accommodate that."

"Right now, we have a breakfast burrito on, everybody likes that," Meal explained during the early part of the shift. "Breakfast opens at 7 a.m. but there's only a few people walking in around 7 a.m. A lot of people come in like around 7:40 right before the 8 a.m. class."

"We cannot function without students," said Brandy Tynan, the assistant manager for Pathfinder Dining Center. "Overall, Auxiliary Services employs about 700 students and about 80 percent of those students work in the dining centers."

"I was just checking to make sure it was completely empty," Meal said while checking the all-important coffee machines. "And now I'm going to, oh that's full, make some more."

"We try to look for some students that have some food service experience, but we don't get many applicants that have food service experience, so dependability is big," Tynan said. "And when we first hire them, we're kinda hiring blind. We don't really know, they come to school, a lot of students have never worked before and we give them their first opportunity at a job."

"My favorite part is just the amount of opportunities that can be in the dining hall," Meal said. You might not know looking from the outside, but I've gotten scholarships here, I've gotten connections, it's sort of how I got my internship," which is with the college's nutritionist.

"A lot of students reach out to me for references once they graduate," said Tynan. "Even while they're here, if they want to study abroad. You know, so they get that working experience with us."

"This has been really helpful, it's kind of what I want to do in the future is be a manager at a hospital, like I wanna go into health administration," Meal said. Alright.

So how did the shift compare with the usual day at Pathfinder Dining Hall?

"Tt was good," Meal said. "It was slower than normal so I didn't have to quite run around. But I'm still sweating because it happened to be 82 degrees today."

For more information on working in a dining hall or for Auxiliary Services, visit their student employment page.