Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Mazen Albatarseh

Highlight

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
I moved to the United States from Jordan with $96 and the intention of starting my adult life.
I didn’t speak any English, but luckily, a friend found me a graveyard shift at a gas station.
While working there, I taught myself English by watching “Tom and Jerry” and reading "USA Today."
I also played music on the side to help supplement my income—I still play the keyboard and drums.
I moved to Portland and bought a gas station with my brother, but we struggled.
A friend was working at Taco Bell, and he invited me to come work with him.
I’ve since held 16 positions within the company—I guess once I ate those tacos, I never went back!
Keep following my journey

Career

Vice President of Operations

My job is all about people: I am a motivator, a teacher, and a leader of our people.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Food
Numbers
Working with Others

Day to Day

On a typical day, we’re looking back at the results from the prior day, and either saying, “Wow, we did great,” or saying, “We could do better,” and identifying the areas where we can improve. My job is made up of three main parts: being a motivator, a teacher, and a leader—a mash-up that I like to call a “moteader.”

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

If you are really truly hungry for the work, you’ll not only succeed in this role, but you’ll succeed in any job that you do. I’m always looking for peers who have that level of hunger, the people who come in and clearly have the desire to stick with this job.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

1.) Value your think time. Spend plenty of time looking at things from different angles and thinking about what you’re doing, and put value to those activities. I schedule “think time” the same way I’d schedule a professional meeting, because I find it to be just as essential to my job. 2.) Find mentors. Align yourself with the people who you want to see yourself become.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"You need to go into a medical field."