How did you become interested in your major?
I knew I liked to cook and did research into what I could do to become a chef. After researching, I also found out that I could get a bachelor’s degree in management and since I have a background in leadership in the Army, I decided to continue with that education. As I was getting out of the Army, I asked myself “What do I like to do that I would allow me to continue to travel?” As I was going through CIA’s associate program, I found out I could spend a semester in Singapore for a concentration in Asian cuisine—so I decided to take that opportunity.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
Although I had support from my family saying that they believed it was a good idea since I had always shown an interest in cooking, I had no one that truly influenced me to go into this career. Ultimately, I was the one who decided to pursue this path with the major reason being that I could travel everywhere and work.
Do you already have a degree from another college or did you previously have a different career?
I had a career in the military. I was in the Army for 9 years before getting out of the service.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because they are rated the number one culinary school in the United States. The CIA also works closely with veterans and is a yellow ribbon program school. After a visit to the school, I decided to attend.
What do you like best about the CIA?
I like the fact that the CIA is run like a four-year college and not just a tech school. The school has sports teams, clubs and activities, a fitness center, and bachelor’s degree options.
What is/are the best lesson(s) you’ve learned while at the CIA or what advice would you give to new students?
The advice I would give to new students is: the more you put into school, the more you get out of it. The best lesson I’ve learned would be from Chef Phillips. He showed me that if you find your passion, go after it and learn as much as you can. He also taught me to ask questions and not just blindly follow along if you do not know why you are doing something.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I am captain of CIA’s tennis team. This is my third season of playing and my second season as captain. I will also be playing a fourth season which is very uncommon in playing sports here but fortunately it worked out that way for myself.
What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
I plan on traveling to Australia and getting my international bartending license. From that point, I’d like to take as many opportunities to travel around so I can learn as much as possible from different regions of cooking.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
My advice is to do research on schools and make sure you are passionate about cooking. After doing research, come visit and see firsthand the passion that is in this college. Finally, I would say that I find it to be a great investment for a career in the culinary world and not only just for having the CIA on your resume. The network of alumni that the CIA has, along with career services after graduating, are things you won’t find just anywhere.