Feb 14, 2017 10:50 AM EST

This CEO Says Teenagers Can Benefit From Working At McDonald’s

In America, a teenager’s first job is usually in retail or the food industry, with thousands being hired by fast food giant McDonald’s through the years. While some may make snide remarks about flipping burgers, a former worker, who is now a CEO of a home-building company, says that young people can truly learn some valuable lessons while working for the fast-food chain.

In an interview with the New York Times, Taylor Morrison CEO Sheryl Palmer talked about her first job, saying that she wanted to work at a young age to earn her own money. She explained that her mother was a designer, and though she often got free clothes, she wanted to buy her own clothes to fit in with her peers.

Palmer said that she got a job at McDonald’s when she was 15 and worked there through high school and college. At 20, she became McDonald’s marketing manager for San Diego.

“Every 16-year-old should have to work at McDonald’s, because you really do learn how to work,” said Palmer. “There are no shortcuts. You have to do it right because it was such a part of their brand. There were a lot of life lessons in that job.”

Apart from Palmer, several celebrities and industry leaders have also gotten their start at McDonald’s. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos used to work for the fast food chain, as well as “The Notebook” star Rachel McAdams. Jay Leno used to work at the McDonald’s on Main Street in Andover, Massachusetts back in the 70’s. Singers Pink and Shania Twain are also McDonald’s alumni, as well as Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis.

Young people who apply for a job at any McDonald’s outlet would likely start as a crew member, and they are tasked with food preparation and helping customers at the front counter. The average McDonald’s crew member starts out earning pay around minimum wage, according to Job-applications.com.

Team members who excel may get promoted to a management position. McDonald’s employment benefits may include medical coverage, paid vacation time, restaurant discounts, and 401(k) plans.

For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on the timely perk that Starbucks is giving its employees.

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