How did you become interested in food?
I have always loved food! For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a baker, and nothing else. Most young children change their minds every other day as to what they want to be when they grow up, but I never did. I knew that food was my passion.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA because of its reputation. The CIA has the best program and instructors out there. I am so thankful I get to learn from the best of the best every time I step into the bakeshop.
How have scholarships and/or grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
Scholarships and grants are the reason why I can get an education. I worked very hard in high school not only saving up my money for college but also to receive academic scholarships. I have to pay for my education myself, so I am always applying for scholarships. I work as hard as I can in the classroom to keep my grades up and hopefully can receive even more academic scholarships.
What do you like best about the CIA?
I love the fact that every day I am surrounded by people who love food just as much as I do. I think it’s so cool that I could probably start a conversation with anyone on campus just by saying what I had for dinner last night.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I do! I am a part of the Culinary Christian Fellowship and Welcome Team club. I am also an orientation leader and tour guide here on campus.
What is your favorite dish to make?
I love making puff pastry! It takes a lot of patience to make sure it’s done right, and I just feel so proud when you can see all the layers after it bakes.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
We talk all of the time in class about the hospitality side of the industry, and how important it is to really connect with not only your customers but your staff as well. We have also spoken a lot about food costing, which is a very important part of the industry. I do plan on continuing on to the bachelor’s program here at the CIA to study business.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
The best lesson I have learned at the CIA is really having a sense of urgency. You can always be faster. Walk faster, whisk faster, clean faster, just be faster!
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
I am not 100% sure where I want to be after I graduate from the CIA. I know if I set my mind on something too early before I graduate, I will shut myself out from wonderful—and maybe life-changing—opportunities. One thing I have thought a lot about would be becoming a high school culinary arts teacher. My high school culinary teacher was a CIA graduate, and without him, I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I would love to encourage students to take that extra step, and really help and push them the same way I was. I know whatever I decide to do after college, I will have had the best training possible to do it from the CIA.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
It’s okay to be afraid! I was very nervous the first week here. Everyone is afraid (and if they say they aren’t, they’re lying), but that doesn’t mean you let that fear hold you back. To me, if you aren’t afraid, it doesn’t matter enough to you. Always push yourself to do what scares you because that is how you grow into a better person and a better cook.