Hi Khay! Tell us about yourself.
I am 26 years old and from the Philippines. Growing up I was the only girl amongst six brothers, which meant I was “the queen of the house!” I’m a very sociable person, and I love getting together with friends to watch movies, and of course music and dance are a big part of my life. I moved to Kuwait in 2013 as a Barista, to support my brothers’ education. During my stay in Kuwait, I have made many friends that are now like a second family to me.
How long have you been working with Starbucks Kuwait?
I have been working with Starbucks Kuwait for almost 3 years, and it has been an unforgettable journey. I started in 2013 as a Barista and then progressed to become a Barista Trainer, coaching partners on the Barista Basics and helping them build on their passion for coffee. All through my journey I was looking for an opportunity to learn and grow, and in 2014 I joined the Coffee Master program. I am currently working as a store supervisor.
What do you love the most about your job?
I love the fact that Starbucks has a culture of continuous learning and development. The amount of coffee passion the partners have, and the knowledge they acquire by serving with the brand, is amazing. Working at Starbucks is not just about offering the best cup of coffee; it is also about gaining a wealth of knowledge. I believe in the quote, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. The connection that we have every day with our customers, and the compliments we get from them, is our best reward.
How has working with Starbucks positively impacted your life?
When I joined Starbucks, I did not know much about coffee and I was amazed to witness the journey
from bean-to-cup. They way it impacts millions of lives around the world is truly extraordinary.
Working with Starbucks has taught me that when you have passion and are self-motivated, you
can become anything you want. A cup of coffee changed my life.
What are the most important values that you learn about from working with Starbucks?
For me, having a healthy relationship with partners and customers, a positive attitude and
perseverance are the most important values I learned at Starbucks.
Tell us about your participation in the Barista Competition. What was the competition about, and how do you feel about the Mena Barista Competition?
The Barista Championship gives Starbucks partners the chance to showcase their knowledge
and skills as a Barista. It tests our skills as coffee experts, our artistic skills, and our communication
skills. It challenges us not just on how good we are at our job, but pushes us to think innovatively.
On a personal level, it was a great accomplishment for me to win the competition. I knew I could win, but never really pictured myself as winning it. Throughout the competition, I kept feeling shocked as I progressed to the semi-finals, and then to the finals, and then finally going on to winning the championship. On a professional level, it helped to confirm to myself my own abilities as a Barista and being a Barista Champion means I represent Starbucks partners in all 10 MENA countries –which is a great responsibility.
What are some of your future plans?
I plan to continue my career with Starbucks and contribute to developing other passionate Coffee Masters in the region. I am now on a retail management training course to become an Assistant Manager.
Follow Starbucks Middle East on Instagram @StarbucksMiddleEast.