Major: Associate Degree for Advanced Career Experience (ACE)
Campus: Hyde Park, New York
Hometown: Naples, FL
How did you become interested in your major?
I looked on the CIA website and saw a student featured for CIA’s ACE program. Ever since then I have pushed myself to become a model student and hopefully someday be featured too!
Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
The person who influenced my decision to pursue a career in culinary arts was my mother. She taught me how to cook and how food helps bring people together—so I do what I can when I cook to bring people together.
Did you have any challenges in coming to the CIA?
Yes, prior to arriving at the CIA I had to overcome a lot of challenges, one being that during a part of my life I was homeless. I had to work two jobs just to survive. I learned a lot about hard work and how to make due with what I had. I worked so hard I was able to receive a scholarship.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because I heard it was the best school for the career I want to pursue for the rest of my life. To be the best, you must learn from the best—so why not attend the best?
What do you like best about the CIA?
I liked the CIA instructors. They all have that something special that makes them unique and expert in the subject they’re teaching.
What is/are the best lesson(s) you’ve learned while at the CIA or what advice would you give to new students?
My advice to new students is that the CIA gives you so much opportunity in learning, networking, and accessing anything culinary. Make use of everything. The future is at your fingertips, so be sharp about the knowledge in front of you.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
Yes, I do CIA’s chili cook off—Team Hoppin Habaneros!
What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
My career goal after graduation is to eventually open up my own smokehouse BBQ restaurant. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
If you are considering the CIA, you’re on the right track. The CIA is the world’s premier culinary college for many reasons. It brings out the best in you as you gain the skill set and knowledge you need for the culinary industry from the best instructors. Work smart, study hard, and you’ll earn what you’re looking for and more.