NPC HIGHLIGHTS: Chelsey Shirley
Restaurant General Manager Chelsey Shirley never settles for less than her best. From running Store 2446 in Conway, AR to working towards finishing her bachelor’s, she has her plate full. Nevertheless, she gives 100% in every facet of her life.
Shirley started as a delivery driver in Greenbrier, Arkansas. “I was honestly just wanting to make some extra cash,” she says. “I loved the atmosphere and my job from the very beginning. I soon began training for all roles.” Her new found passion for the food industry catapulted her from shift leader in 2015 to RGM at Greenbrier in 2017, where she was responsible for building a new team from the ground up. Now a training manager at Conway, she works hard to run her store and complete her degree.
After studying on and off out of high school without any program catching her interest, Shirley grew interested in what Excelsior College had to offer after talking with program alum Jason Hamerlinck.
“We had casually talked about it here and there and I knew one day I would finish what I started. After reading more about it and seeing what all Excelsior offered us with their partnership, I made contact to get more details. They were very helpful in helping me decide what degree would be most beneficial for me, my job, and using all of my prior college credits and Learning Zone. I found out I needed 10 classes for a bachelor’s degree.”
(Excelsior offers a number of programs at a 45% tuition discount to NPC employees. You can apply for an NPC scholarship to Excelsior College until July.)
Running a successful restaurant and completing a degree isn’t easy. “Between writing multiple papers a week and the discussions I have to be a part of, the hours it takes running a high volume store, or covering shifts so my store is not left hanging, it gets tough,” Shirley says. “It takes hard work, determination, and knowing that I really can do this. There are some late nights and early mornings, but I won’t settle for mediocre results at work or school.”
Shirley excels in the face of failure and uses mistakes as a chance to grow. “Ask lots of questions and do not be scared to make mistakes. We all have to start somewhere,” she advises to new NPC employees.
Shirley is planning on graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Management in 2020.