Super Size Me: Hamburger University

Illustration by Brian Romero for YRB Magazine

In the days of old, if your greatest aspiration in life was to work behind the counter at your local fast food restaurant, all you needed was a basic grasp of 6th grade arithmetic. But what if you want to aim higher, and say, work your way up the line to a management position at McDonald’s? Then you’d better think about applying to college. And not just any college: Hamburger University, or, “McDonald’s Center of Training Excellence.” Since 1961, Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois has been serving up more than tasty Big Macs – a super-sized order of education is also standard fare. HU boasts on-site interpreters able to communicate in 28 languages with the 5,000 members of its diverse student body, and a curriculum that features a combination of intensive classroom instruction, “lab” activities, and so-called “computer e-learning modules.” Hamburger University: It’s like Yale meets the United Nations. (Except that it’s not at all like Yale. Or the United Nations.)

 

 

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