Starbucks Stories: From Jamaica to Miami to a Future Career in Marketing

Alyssa Greenfield
Starbucks Stories: From Jamaica to Miami to a Future Career in Marketing
Sponsored by, Starbucks

This post was adapted from a story by Linda Dahlstrom about Arizona State University graduate Alexander Nunes, who had his bachelor’s degree tuition fully covered through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. The article originally appeared in the Starbucks Newsroom. You can read the full story here.

You probably know your favorite Starbucks drink order by heart, but have you ever heard of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan? It’s an amazing program that makes a bachelor’s degree possible for thousands of “partners” (the company’s term for its employees) by providing full-tuition reimbursement for both full and part-time employees. Whether a partner is finishing their college education or just starting out, they have the opportunity to choose from over 70 online undergraduate degrees at Arizona State University.

And partners are definitely taking advantage of it: over 8,000 partners are participating in the program and over 730 have graduated so far. Their stories are nothing short of inspiring.

Which brings us to Alexander Nunes. Nunes’ education dreams were bigger than his home country of Jamaica could provide. So he made a bold decision at just 18 years old to move to the United States. He knew he couldn’t pay to enroll in college full-time, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his degree. So when Nunes arrived in his new home of Miami, he landed a job at Starbucks in the hopes of paying for college one credit at a time.

Little did Nunes know a change was on the horizon that would impact his trajectory. While he was working there, Starbucks announced the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP) in partnership with Arizona State University. Because of SCAP and its full-tuition reimbursement, Nunes was able to reach his goal much faster than he ever expected. As a result, everything changed—not just for Nunes, but for other members of his family too. This year, Nunes became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. But he certainly won’t be the last. His dedication inspired Nunes’ stepfather to return to school and his sister will be graduating with a degree of her own soon.

So what will Nunes be doing with his newly earned degree? During his time with the company, he became passionate about Starbucks’ work with farmers to replace dying trees with ones that are more resistant to disease. Those efforts sparked his interest in helping Starbucks’ environmental efforts, which means he has no plans to leave the company any time soon. Instead, Nunes has his sights set on another move: this time from Miami to Seattle to work in marketing at the company’s headquarters.

No matter what he does next, one thing is for certain: Nunes’ college degree has set him up for success wherever his career takes him.

Inspired by Nunes’ story and want to join a company that believes in college education for everyone? Starbucks is hiring for baristas on WayUp!

Barista Application Tip!

Did you know you can submit your application to up to 5 stores at one time? In order to stand out after submitting your application, stop by the store(s) you applied to and introduce yourself to the manager or shift supervisor. Let them know you recently applied and what excites you about the opportunity. If you don’t get a call for an interview within 60 days, you can re-apply to the same or different stores. Good luck!