McDonald’s Launches Career Advising Campaign for Restaurant Employees with the Help of Five Industry Influencers

October 30, 2018

Campaign to drive awareness for education, career advising services available through Archways to Opportunity and pair select restaurant employees with leaders across arts/entertainment, technology, entrepreneurship, healthcare and restaurant/food service for job shadowing opportunity

CHICAGO, Oct. 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McDonald’s today announced the launch of its Where You Want To Be campaign, a concerted effort by the company to help restaurant employees connect the skills they learn on the job with the education, tuition assistance and career tools available to take the next step in their professional journey – whether at McDonald’s or elsewhere.

This campaign is based on employee insights from the company’s previously released Workforce Preparedness Study that analyzed generational sentiment around soft skills abilities, and identified the top industries McDonald’s restaurant employees aspire to be in, which include: arts/entertainment, technology, entrepreneurship, healthcare and restaurant/food service.

Through Where You Want To Be, McDonald’s aims to educate restaurant employees on the professional tools available to them through the company’s signature education and career advising program, Archways to Opportunity. Based on those top five industries identified, the company is partnering with five influencers in each industry to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for select employees to learn first-hand what a future career in their industry of choice looks like under the wings of an expert. These include:

  • Arts/Entertainment: Music producer and McDonald’s alum, Kuk Harrell
  • Technology: Digital Content Creator, former McDonald’s crew member, Tyler Oakley
  • Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneur and Author, James Altucher
  • Healthcare: Board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, Dr. Meena Singh
  • Restaurant/Food Service: Community of McDonald’s Owner/Operators

“This campaign started by listening to employees,” said Melissa Kersey, McDonald’s U.S. Chief People Officer. “By connecting restaurant employees’ aspirations with the necessary education tools and career advising services to achieve them, we continue to reinforce our role as America’s Best First Job. Through this campaign and our ongoing education investments we are committed to helping all those who come to work for us – or our independent franchisees – to see the possibility of their own potential.”

“Our current workforce needs more innovative and flexible options for learning. In order to deliver on that need, employers and universities must be better aligned and more responsive to the needs of adult and working learners,” said Paul LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University, an Archways to Opportunity partner. “I have huge admiration for the work McDonald’s is doing to develop the workforce, foster greater educational attainment and unlock opportunities for restaurant employees.”

McDonald’s is leveraging the Where You Want To Be campaign to highlight the new suite of career advising tools available through its signature education program, Archways to Opportunity. Together with longstanding Archways education partner, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), McDonald’s aims to improve employees’ experience with career pathing solutions to better position them for long-term career success. Designed to help restaurant employees identify potential career paths and then chart a course of action to achievement, these new or enhanced tools include:

  • Career Advising Services: Available immediately, restaurant employees can access no-cost career and academic advising services with a Master’s-level prepared advisor to create a plan for reaching short and long-term education goals that bridge to career pathways.
  • Career Exploration Tool: In 2019, McDonald’s restaurant employees will gain access to a rich new mobile experience for career and education exploration through a mobile app featuring built-in guidance and resources to help people advance their careers. Restaurant employees will be able to understand the valuable skills they are developing, understand their strengths, find local education and link to growth opportunities in a variety of careers. This tool will be connected to existing advisors who are able to support restaurant employees in utilizing all Archways to Opportunity programs.

“The focus McDonald’s is putting on restaurant employees and their education and future employability aligns perfectly with our mission, so we are proud to be taking our partnership to the next level,” said Dr. Marie Cini, President of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. “As a young worker, it can be hard to look beyond the day-to-day and think about the future, but services like this can be a huge help for youth that may not know what careers are available to them and need help mapping out how to grow their skills, education and interests to be set up for success. With this new offering, McDonald’s is giving restaurant employees a big leg up in their journey to building the futures they want.”

Where You Want To Be underscores McDonald’s ongoing commitment to education and advancement opportunities. Key announcements in 2018 include:

  • Invested $150 million into Archways to Opportunity, which provides eligible employees at participating U.S. restaurants an opportunity to earn a high school diploma, receive upfront college tuition assistance, access free education advising services and learn English as a second language. Since the Archways to Opportunity program launched in 2015, it has increased education access for over 33,000 people and awarded more than $42 million in high school and college tuition assistance.
  • Launched a new initiative with the International Youth Foundation called Youth Opportunity that sets a global goal to reduce barriers to employment for two million young people by 2025 through pre-employment job readiness training, employment opportunities and education programs.
  • Expanded the McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship from five to 30 winners, providing more Hispanic students the opportunity to obtain a college degree. Scholarship applicants have the opportunity to directly receive up to $100,000 to help finance their tuition.
  • Partnered with the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) by funding four “True to the HBCU” $10,000 scholarships as a way to help foster educational empowerment.

About McDonald's USA

McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by business men and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook

Lauren Altmin, Media Relations at McDonald’s   

Christie Shein, Media Relations at Purple Strategies  

Application Details:

You must be a current McDonald’s restaurant employee to apply. Eligible restaurant employees can enter at until November 8, 2018. The application process includes submitting a video describing how McDonald’s is helping them learn the skills today that will help take them to where they want to be tomorrow. Selected restaurant employees will be paired with successful influencers for a career shadow day in one of the top desired fields.

About the Workforce Preparedness Study
Earlier this year McDonald’s in partnership with Morning Consult released a Workforce Preparedness Study, which analyzed generational sentiment around soft skills abilities. The study found that respondents believe soft skills, such as teamwork, customer service and responsibility are not only more impactful than hard skills for long-term career success, but also are best developed during a first job, which for many across America is with a company like McDonald's.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at