Research Project: Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-U)
As a Research Fellow working in collaboration with ROC-U located in New York City, I have conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to examine and analyze the working conditions of employees in the restaurant industry. One of my responsibilities has been to code responses of interviews conducted by ROC-U in the Bay Area. Based on preliminary analysis, ROC-U released a comprehensive brief of the results. I will be working on summarizing the results and conducting further statistical analysis.
It has been a rewarding and insightful experience so far and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with ILR faculty member KC Wagner and ROC-U project supervisor Teofilo Reyes.
Year: ILR '16
Cornell Activities/Groups/Affiliations/Leadership Roles:
- ClubFest Coordinator, Welcome Weekend Executive Board
- Saturday Program Coordinator, CU Bigs
- Human Resources Associate, Cornell Daily Sun
- ILR Ambassador and an Orientation Leader
Research for the non-profit organization Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC-U)
Describe your research project. As a Research Fellow working in collaboration with ROC-U located in New York City, I have conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to examine and analyze the rates of discrimination among workers in the restaurant industry. For instance, I have compiled a list of relevant EEOC cases regarding restaurant workers and harassment. I have also gathered customer ratings of establishments around the country in order to ultimately link the data to high-road Human Resource practices and long-term success of these restaurants. It has been a rewarding and insightful experience so far and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with ILR faculty member KC Wagner and ROC-U project supervisor Legna Cabrera.
What have you gotten out of the experience so far? My work with ROC-United has allowed me to learn so much about the restaurant industry while contributing in a meaningful way to an up and coming non-profit. My experience has taught me how to synthesize information and present it articulately. I have also had the opportunity to work independently and as a team player. This position has also opened my eyes to the extreme discrimination the nation's 10 million restaurant workers continue to face today.
Why might other students be interested in pursuing this opportunity? The Worker Institute is an organization that engages in research and education of contemporary labor issues; essentially it is the ILR curriculum in action. Having the chance to apply concepts learned in the classroom to the real world is an opportunity students should take advantage of and can greatly learn from.