Malika Anand: From India to CIA, the Learning Never Ends
CIA Student Bio
“The CIA has given me a lot. It has provided me a home away from home.”
How did you become interested in food and hospitality?
Since middle school I had an inclination towards cooking. The fact that my father is in the food business also played a huge role in my decision to pursue a degree in baking and pastry. My mother and my grandma are also great cooks and I used to help out wherever possible.
Why did you choose the CIA?
CIA is the best of the best! There was no competition when it came to picking which school I wanted to go to. If I was pursuing my dream it had to be from my dream school, or else it wouldn’t have felt right.
How have scholarships and/or grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
Being an international student, I didn’t expect to get any scholarships. But when I was told that I would be able to get not one but more than one scholarship I was over the moon! The scholarships really helped in managing my finances.
What do you like best about the CIA?
Our chef-instructors and professors! I cannot stress this enough. The guidance I’ve gotten from my chefs and professors has been something I couldn’t ever imagine getting anywhere else. Knowing that I’m being taught and guided by the best of the best makes my journey even more worthwhile.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I do not belong to any clubs but I’ve participated in a bunch of activities around campus.
What is your favorite dish to make?
My favorite dish to make is a crème brûlée. This simplistic yet elegant dish never fails to amaze one’s palate with every bite. I’ve made it a bunch of times for my family and friends and they always love it.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food and hospitality?
The academic classes that I took over the past year and a half have surely given me an insight about the business side of my profession. The professors have been very helpful in and outside of class to provide additional information and answer any questions I’ve had.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
The CIA has given me a lot. It has provided me a home away from home. The best thing I’ve learned at the CIA is that there is never an end to learning. Every day is a new lesson learned. Even if we know what’s being taught, we should still pay attention to it and gather all the information available to hone that skill or subject.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
My ultimate goal in my professional life is to one day open up my own establishment in my country. The CIA has taught me skills that are going to help me both in and outside the kitchen. I’ve been taught to stay strong both mentally and physically. Everyone has their bad days, but not letting that interfere in our work is the ultimate challenge.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
Do it! If you have the passion, dedication, and means to attend the CIA, please do so. I was lucky enough to meet with an international student counselor here at school before finalizing my decision to come to the CIA. I can say confidently—and so can my family—that this is the best decision I have made. I’m making my dreams come true and I would love to help out anyone who’s wanting to do the same. I’ve had a lot of people from India reach out to me regarding the course and life at the CIA, and I’ve always helped them.
Malika Anand is a CIA student pursuing her associate degree in baking and pastry arts at the college’s New York campus in Hyde Park. She is from Bhopal, India.