Innovative Job Training: The Saxbys Approach to Preparing Students for the Future


In the increasingly competitive job market, the ability to combine academic knowledge with
real-world experience is becoming a crucial asset. A fascinating example of this integration
is being implemented by Saxbys, a coffee chain based in Philadelphia. This innovative
company provides valuable hands-on job experience to undergraduates by allowing them to
run its cafes close to their campuses. This engaging learning method offers a unique
approach to job readiness by focusing not only on classroom education, but also for
practical, applicable skills. In this article, our team has identified the key-points of this story
recently told on the pages of FastCompany.

The Concept

The concept is simple yet revolutionary: students take a break from their classes for a
semester and instead assume the role of “student CEO” at Saxbys locations. Their
responsibilities are anything but trivial. They are responsible for tracking inventory, managing
employees, and being accountable for the café’s bottom line. Throughout their six-month
tenure, they earn credits, receive a salary, and gain valuable managerial experience.

The Model

The Saxbys model is an exceptional response to the growing concerns about job readiness
among new graduates. With skyrocketing tuition fees and an increasingly competitive job
market, universities are under-pressure to provide their students with practical skills beyond
theoretical knowledge. This initiative effectively bridges the gap between classroom learning
and real-world application, providing a comprehensive learning experience above traditional


One of the key takeaways from the Saxbys initiative is the emphasis on entrepreneurial
skills. Saxbys is not just teaching students how to run a café, but also equipping them with
skills applicable to a wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits in the future. For instance, Kristin
Vendel, a dance major at the University of the Arts, took on the role of student CEO at a
Saxbys café with the goal of acquiring skills to open her own Pilates studio someday.
The Saxbys approach is a refreshing example of experiential learning. I demonstrate the
profound impact of hands-on experience on student outcomes. It also illustrates the potential
benefits of collaboration between academia and businesses. Saxbys ensures that their
approach is rooted in educational goals, not just business objectives, by targeting academic
administrators in charge of curriculum, rather than business-side executives.
In an era where employers highly value soft skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and
communication, the Saxbys model offers students a practical avenue to develop these skills.
This approach is a clear example of how businesses can make a positive contribution to the
education sector by developing future leaders while also achieving their own business goals.
It also serves as an encouragement for other businesses to explore opportunities for
partnerships with educational institutions in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.


Saxbys represents an innovative approach to education that prepares students for the job
market and equips them with the skills to shape their own careers. As we seek to improve
students’ job readiness, the Saxbys model is an inspiring example of what wev can
accomplish through collaboration between businesses and educational institutions. This
partnership helps develop the leaders of tomorrow.

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