By Lydia Hansen
Being a full-time student and working a part-time job is challenging, but Alex Zemla, RCTC student of two years, holds down two.
His first is at Hyvee where he has worked for three years as a produce clerk. On average, he works 12 hours a week, mostly night shifts because of his class schedule.
“Practically all I do is stock fruits and vegetables,” Zemla said.
His second job is at Flapdoodles, a small independently owned ice cream parlor in Rochester, where he has worked since September. He is what he likes to call “an ice creamologist,” which in layman’s terms means an ice cream server.
“What I like about Flapdoodles is that when it’s busy, it’s really busy,” Zemla explained. “When there are customers, there’s always something to do.”
Between these two jobs, Zemla regularly pulls a 20-hour work week. Maintaining those hours can be difficult, however, when he works evening shifts in both places. Because of this, he expects to eventually leave Hyvee to make more time for school — and Flapdoodles.
“I prefer Flapdoodles because it’s closer to home, and I like the work,” Zemla said. “I’m all for ice cream. And the employee discount is really nice!”
When he’s not making the world a better place via ice cream, Zemla has plenty to do with his full class load. “My major used to be Computer Science, but after taking Computer Science Concepts, I realized that wasn’t the thing for me.”
Now, he’s finishing his generals and keeping his mind open for other courses of study that might interest him. With two semesters to go before he finishes a degree, he expects to put in many more working hours at both Hyvee and Flapdoodles, stocking produce and serving ice cream.
His personal favorite flavor? “Peanut butter crunch. Definitely.”