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Don’t panic if results don’t go your way

GREAT SERVICE: Des Lamph, McDonald’s franchisee at Westwoods, with Katie McManus at Westwood McDonald’s GREAT SERVICE: Des Lamph, McDonald’s franchisee at Westwoods, with Katie McManus at Westwood McDonald’s
By Staff Reporter

WITH the release of summer exam results, this time of year can often be stressful for young people, especially those who are not sure where the future will take them. Whether it’s further education or the world of employment, the important thing is not to panic. There are loads of options available and, as McDonald’s Westwood’s Business Manager Katie McManus can attest, an unexpected road can often be the best one.

The 26-year-old began working in McDonald’s in Glengormley while studying for her A-levels. Aged 17, Katie had plans of going to University and becoming a Mental Health Nurse, but completely changed direction following her time at the fast food restaurant.

“I decided not to go to university and to take a gap year after my exams,” she explained.

“I went Crew Member to Shift Manager and then realised that’s what I wanted to do. I got promoted the whole way through to Business Manager.

“Personally, I wouldn’t advise anyone to go to university until they know what they want to do. There’s no point wasting the time and money doing it. I would encourage people who are maybe panicking about grades not to worry. There are different things out there, and you’re not always taught that in school or given all the options. I never thought I would be working in McDonald’s but the option found me.”

She continued: “It’s not what people would assume – it’s very business orientated for me. You’re very driven to work towards targets and it’s competitive. The teamwork and morale is amazing too, you literally feel like you’re with your family away from home.”

As well as offering a career, McDonald’s also offers a range of educational and professional development courses to help employees attain everything from GCSE’s to university degree.

“There are so many opportunities,” Katie said.

“You can constantly get promoted towards Business Manager and then after that you have options to become a franchiser one day, which is a big opportunity but if you really want it you can push for it.

“We have people at the minute studying for the GCSEs through our apprenticeship programmes, so they’re getting their Maths and English qualifications, which will help them in the future life. Because I didn’t go to university, the option is there for me to do a business degree, which I’m planning on doing next year, so I didn’t miss out on that.”

She continued: “I was quite anxious and nervous about making the decision not to go to university. It’s hard to know if you’re making the right decision at that age.

“Looking back, I’m glad it turned out that way. I would say to some of the young ones in here not to panic. Everything happens for a reason and you don’t know what path you’re going to go down until you go down it. GCSE’s and other exams are important, but there are other avenues that you can go down to get different jobs.”

She added: “McDonald’s don’t really on experience and what you have in your qualifications – it’s all about your attitude, your attitude to doing well and how hard you work.

“If you are hard working and they really want to make something of yourself then you should come here.”

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