Alvaro Quintero ‘19
Concentration: History of Science
Employer: Cambridge Queen’s Head
“This is definitely the best job I’ve had at Harvard,” Alvaro said cheerfully as he talked about his work experience as a term-time student employee and now summer pub manager at the Cambridge Queen’s Head, a student-managed and student-run restaurant that’s nestled in the basement of Memorial Hall.
Described by Alvaro as “a fun, warm environment with a bunch of fun people and occasionally interesting patrons,” the Cambridge Queen’s Head operates as part of the Harvard College’s Office of Student Life. Founded in 2005, the Queen’s Head was established as an undergraduate social space “to feature live music, cheap food, and beer and wine for those of age.” The entire establishment is run by its five graduate student managers, seven undergraduate student managers, and 60 student employees whose roles range from bartender to ID checker.
Alvaro first heard about this job opportunity from a friend who already worked there and was hired as a student employee during the fall semester of his junior year. Since joining the staff, Alvaro has worked the various roles that employees occupy depending on the needs of the shift, discovering that he actually prefers working in the kitchen the most. “The role assignments are extremely fluid, and they typically realize what position you like the most. And for me, I really like working in the kitchen because it’s a more casual setting.” As the summer started, Alvaro opted to transition into the role of pub manager, taking on a new set of responsibilities, namely preparing the space before the shifts start, supervising the pub operations during the shift, and making sure everything is well stocked for future shifts.
In addition to the flexibility of getting to work in preferred roles, employment at the Queen’s Head is very flexible in terms of scheduling - another aspect of the job that Alvaro enjoys. “The shifts usually run from 6 PM to around 9 PM and then from 9 PM to around midnight. I personally prefer doing later shifts in the night because I’m a night owl - the Queen’s Head positions always work very well around students’ schedules.”
However, the most important reason why Alvaro loves his job is the social aspect of the role. Working as in the Queen’s Head provides a great community, a sentiment that Alvaro believes as he shares, “All the workers here are extremely nice - they literally treat you like they already have known you forever. It’s a really fun environment where you’re extremely welcomed by the workers.” Compared to the other jobs he has held on campus, Alvaro particularly enjoys this one because it’s not individually-oriented. “I’m more of a social person and I don’t like just working by myself. I learned mostly how to work a lot better within a team because you have to rely on everybody - no single person can do everything. But also, I learned how to interact better with people and how to have more fun.”
Reflecting upon his experience at the Queen’s Head, Alvaro sums up just how much he enjoys working at this place. “It’s a unique place to be working because it’s a lot more social. It’s a much more fun space, and it doesn’t really even feel like a job in my opinion. It feels like you’re just going to hang out with friends and you just have something else to do on the side… while getting paid course.” When prompted about whether he’d continue working until the end of college, Alvaro responded affirmatively very readily. “It’s a great place to be working. I’ve never been not happy to come work here.”