Michael Bieksha

Michael Bieksha

Mate (Manager)

Trader Joe's

Portland, OR USA

The right path is the one you choose and love, not what others dictate.


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Graduating high school and going to college out of state. Experiencing things on my own for the first time and navigating a big campus with many influences outside of it.
Taking a solo trip to Europe and visiting 6 different countries. Having to navigate unknown languages and other issues on your own.
Becoming a manager at Trader Joe's at 25 and managing people older than me.
Moving to Portland from California, 1000+ miles away from nearest family and starting a new life with my wife.
Running through the gauntlet of COVID and being an essential worker.
Having kids and figuring out the work life balance.
Keep following my journey


Mate (Manager)

I help guide a crew of 100+ employees to drive sales in the store and create a neighborhood environment.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

The day begins and ends with unloading a full semi truck and stocking and facing shelves. During the day we excel at providing a customer experience others can't. This is what differentiates Trader Joe's from other retailers. From creating a welcoming environment to driving the grand finale, it's all a part of making the experience. As a store manager, I must maintain the daily spoils, do daily time keeping, maintain scheduling and create creative displays.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Don't be afraid to fail and don't listen to what people say about the grocery business. There is an awesome environment awaiting with great people to engage with. Whether you are outgoing or more to yourself, there is a spot for everyone.

Recommended Education

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


The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"As an only child, I felt pressure from my parents that I had to excel at a certain rate."

Challenges I Overcame

Family Stress


Is there any advice you have for college students who are following your career path?

Asked by Anonymous Student

If you're going to deal with people everyday the biggest advice I would have is to find yourself and to figure out who you are because it's hard to help other people if you don't know who you are.

What was it like for you growing up?

Asked by Anonymous Student

It was fun and it was interesting, I grew up in Mission Viejo and had the opportunity to travel a lot. Experiencing different cultures taught me how different people interact with each other, and to treat everyone with the same amount of respect.

Why did you choose Cal State Fullerton?

Asked by Anonymous Student

Cal State Fullerton offers many great programs, and the professors are great. It is also very important to get involved with study groups and to enjoy the facilities that are on or near campus. Also try to interact with as many people as you can.

Interviewed By

Anonymous Student

Student at CSUF