By: Carly Levy
A Coral Springs High School student went from part-time McDonald’s employee to area supervisor, while along the way receiving financial assistance through the corporation helping him earn his college degree.
In 2003, while still a sophomore in high school, Coral Springs resident Eric Oxman began working at the McDonald’s on Wiles Road after hearing about the position from a friend, also an employee.
As a crew member working 20-30 hours each week, Oxman’s job was to make french fries, take orders, and handle customers. As challenging as it was for him to work at McDonald’s and participate in the school’s marching band, McDonald’s was very accommodating with his schedule.
His training at McDonald’s would consist of watching videos or having a crew trainer overseeing him. He also learned about maintaining their level of hospitality as well as being friendly with the customers. The most challenging part that Oxman found was covering the night shifts, since he was more of a morning person.
In 2004, at the age of 16, Oxman won Employee of the Year, as well as being promoted to crew trainer. Because of his leadership and commitment to McDonald’s, Oxman was promoted to manager a year later. He also won outstanding restaurant manager for the State of Florida, as well as outstanding technology for southeastern Florida. Working 50 hours a week, Oxman’s role as manager was to make sure that the store was running smoothly and that customers were happy.
Originally with dreams of becoming an architect, Oxman was fascinated with working with the technology used at McDonald’s, such as the registers and the credit card systems. McDonald’s would send him to Chicago for training, and in 2008, this inspired him to change his major to computer science at Florida Atlantic University. However, he again switched it to management information systems so he could work on the business side of technology as well.
In his final year of college in 2016, he received help from McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity, an educational strategy designed by McDonald’s to further the education of its employees, where he received $1,000 per semester for three semesters which helped him pay for his tuition and books.
Since the launch of the Archways to Opportunity program in 2015, more than 10 million dollars have been given to employees high school and college tuition. And to date, $500,000 of that sum total has been awarded to Florida employees alone.
“Definitely very grateful for McDonald’s and my operator for them helping me out and furthering my education, and it always benefits McDonald’s as well.” said Oxman.
Oxman hopes that his story inspires more people to work at McDonald’s because he believes many people don’t know about the opportunities with the company, or how they will award money to help students attend college. He wants those looking for a job to know that money will be given to McDonald’s employees every semester to help them get an education, which will help them succeed in life.
For the past four years, Oxman, now 30, has worked as an area supervisor for the corporation where he oversees restaurants in Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and two in Boca Raton. He loves training different store managers and watching them grow.
“We know the cost of education can make it challenging to earn a college degree,” said Angel Veliz, local McDonald’s owner/operator. “That’s why we are proud to offer tuition assistance to eligible employees like Eric through Archways to Opportunity.”
Veliz said that whether employees want to improve their English skills, earn a high school diploma, or follow in Eric’s footsteps and complete a college degree, McDonald’s wants to give their employees educational opportunities and resources to help them reach their highest potential.
Oxman said, “Everything that I’ve learned there, I’m able to translate into the restaurants and help them move forward and help handle the customers.”
McDonald’s wants to hire 1,350 people to provide outstanding service to McDonald’s franchises within South Florida. Potential applicants can apply and interview in person at their local restaurants.