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Senior Colin Downes serves up success at Five Guys

Senior+Colin+Downes+shows+off+his+certifications+that+help+grant+him+the+opportunity+to+be+a+manager+at+Five+Guys.
Senior Colin Downes shows off his certifications that help grant him the opportunity to be a manager at Five Guys.

Senior Colin Downes shows off his certifications that help grant him the opportunity to be a manager at Five Guys.

courtesy of Colin Downes

courtesy of Colin Downes

Senior Colin Downes shows off his certifications that help grant him the opportunity to be a manager at Five Guys.

Alex Cole and Michael Shokoff

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Many high school students have jobs. However, very few hold managerial positions.

When he is not in the classroom or fulfilling his duties as senior class secretary, Colin Downes can be seen at Hillsborough’s Five Guys, were he serves as a manager.

It all began when Downes was on the hunt for a job sophomore year. He applied to many establishments around Hillsborough. Since he was just 15 at the time, no employer was eager to hire him. However, Five Guys called and took a chance on Downes.

“I had been disappointed on multiple occasions to find that most employers around town refused to hire someone as young as me,” Downes said. “After multiple rejections, I was ecstatic to be offered a position at Five Guys.”

Downes’s managers and coworkers were taken aback by his strong work ethic and quick grasping of the job. While most employees take weeks and months to get the hang of the Five Guys chaos, Downes was a pro after just a couple of weeks.

“During my training period the general manager as well as the owner made comments on how well I performed and how everything seemed to come to me naturally,” Downes said.

Downes’s run did not stop there. Just a year later, the Five Guys officials promoted him to manager at age 16, an outstanding accomplishment.

“The District Manager who works for Five Guys Corporate came to our store to certify me,” Downes said. “At the end of the certification process- which consists of a 100 question multiple choice test as well as a performance test- he told me that I was the youngest person he had ever certified to be a manager.”

Today, Downes’s dedication to the company has earned him even more opportunity. While he plans to go on to a four year college, Five Guys will always be there for him. The store offered him an assistant general manager position at a prospective location in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

“The area manager for Somerset County’s locations approached me about taking the AGM position at either Hillsborough or the upcoming Bridgewater location,” Downes said. “At first, I was extremely intrigued, but after awhile of thinking, I decided that attending a 4-year university would serve me better.”

Downes represents the quintessential success story. He teaches that anything is possible. His ascension from an unemployed 15-year old boy to a proud manager in less than two years time is truly remarkable.

“I look forward to building on the skills that I have learned from my experiences by studying Hospitality, Industry and Food Service Management at college,” Downes said.

Not bad for a senior in high school!

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Senior Colin Downes serves up success at Five Guys