Jesse Massaro

Jesse Massaro, CIA culinary arts advanced career (ACE) associate degree studentMajor: Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
Campus: Hyde Park, New York

How did you become interested in your major?
Both of my major mentors in life are graduates of the CIA. It was clear to me from the start that if I was going to do this right, it had to be CIA!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
It was clear to me after just a year working as a cook that I had found a career and not just another job. I was immediately drawn to this industry. I’ve always been passionate about food, and I just couldn’t get enough of the fast paced kitchen atmosphere.

Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
Yes, I had a really difficult time finding the finances to come to the CIA. Being an adult student with no one to cosign on a loan and just under the amount of credit needed to get most private loans myself was a huge challenge for me.

Why did you choose the CIA?
I knew that if I was going to make an investment of time and money, I had to go the best program that was available to me.

What do you like best about the CIA?
The campus is beautiful, the classes are challenging and engaging, and I’m learning from some of the most talented chefs in the world.

What is/are the best lesson(s) you’ve learned while at the CIA or what advice would you give to new students?
Confidence and arrogance are two very different things. Never let what you think you already know, get in the way of all the things you could learn.

What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
Thanks to the career fair here at the CIA and all of the networking that happens here, I have several promising job offers all across the country lined up after I graduate in 11 months.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
This isn’t just any old college, this program isn’t easy, it’s hands-on, challenging, and fast-paced. You have to keep up, or you can easily end up “in the weeds”. That being said, this program will mold you into exactly what this industry needs. It can give you everything you need to succeed if you are willing to put in the work. The truth is, there is a good reason why so many restaurant groups and Chefs are so eager to hire CIA graduates, they know that we are willing to put in the effort and do things the right way. Here at the CIA we become the best we can be and place ourselves at the top of the industry through hard work, passion, and commitment.