Brent Harkins

Brent Harkins

Operations Analyst

Taco Bell

Irvine, CA USA

I worked really hard, and I truly believe that anyone else who’s willing to work hard will be able to do whatever they want.


By Roadtrip Nation

Brent Harkins


My road in life took a while to figure out.
Throughout high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do; I just wanted “a job.”
I took a job at Taco Bell when I was 16 and loved it.
As I started to climb the ladder at Taco Bell, I realized I really wanted to get my college degree.
I initially went to community college to save money, then transferred to CSU San Marcos.
I went through a period where I got burned out on my work at Taco Bell, and I stepped away.
However, once I stepped away, I realized how much I’d loved my work at Taco Bell.
I came back to Taco Bell with more passion than ever and haven’t looked back since.
Keep following my journey


Operations Analyst

My team helps execute products efficiently and successfully across 7,000 restaurants nationwide.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

I’m on the Food Ops Team, so I work with everything food. We have a three-step process—discover, design, and deliver—and operations gets brought along for the whole ride. After a crazy menu item (like the quesalupa) is “discovered,” we act as the voice of reason to make sure our restaurants can realistically execute these items using their back-of-house hardware. We do a lot of testing to make sure the item’s soundproof, then once we feel it’s ready, we send it out to our restaurants.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Understand the difference between what you need and what you want: you have to prioritize your needs, but it’s also important that you figure out a way to do the things you want to do. And if you don’t know what you want, take as many different classes as you can and try to find that spark. Keep taking steps forward, and more doors will open.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I don’t love this job anymore."