Siya Tyagi – Student Bio
“At the CIA we get to experiment with so many different styles of baking and pastry that my knowledge of the field is ever-growing. The academics help me expand my knowledge in the business aspect of the industry, and my interactions with my peers and instructors help me open up to others and face the challenges with the determination to succeed.”
How did you become interested in food?
As a child, I loved watching my grandmother and mother cook. I was always mesmerized by the way they got their roti (Indian bread) perfectly round. The fascination of getting perfectly round roti led to me cooking and experimenting with baking, which I fell in love with. Ever since I can remember I have had a love for food, which is only growing—and now my life revolves around food!
Why did you choose the CIA?
While researching about the CIA, I realized that it was one of the few colleges that provided students with practical kitchen experience and industry experience as well. The CIA also provides students with leadership opportunities and lets us expand our horizons in the industry. Most importantly, the college provides students with the necessary resources that will help them become successful, such as a tutoring center, counseling and psychological assistance, career fairs, and career advisors, to name a few. This along with the exceptional reputation of the CIA made it the best choice for my education.
How have scholarships helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
I received the Global Scholar Award as well as an Alumni Referral Scholarship, which have contributed to my education at CIA.
What do you like best about the CIA?
The chefs and instructors here are highly educated in their fields, giving us an opportunity to learn from the best. The program is formed in a systematic manner which effectively contributes to our learning and helps us become successful. Whatever we do here at the CIA is related to our field. We are surrounded by like-minded individuals who have the same passion and drive for the industry.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities on campus?
I am a member of SPICE (Student Programming Igniting Campus Entertainment) and the Community Service Club. I am an International Student Ambassador, a member of the Welcome team, and a tour guide on campus. I actively take part in the various activities that are held around campus.
What is your favorite dish to make?
My favorite dish to make is cake! It is so versatile and the artist in me loves decorating them and trying new flavor combinations.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
In our kitchen classes, we talk about owning our own business and training our own team one day. The academics we take also directly contribute to our learning and understanding of the industry as well as food. We talk not only about our customers but also our staff. We learn how to derive income statements for restaurants and hotels, which is extremely important. I plan on continuing my education in the bachelor’s program here at the CIA to study business.
What are the best lessons you’ve learned while at the CIA?
There are a few lessons I have learned here that I feel are extremely important and will always keep close to my heart:
1. To respect all individuals no matter what their jobs are and respect the equipment and ingredients you use.
2. Never let stress control who you are and what you do. Remember the food can sense when you are nervous; you are in charge.
3. Work with a sense of urgency.
4. Always clean as you go. Never leave your dirty dishes and knives for someone else to clean.
5. Manage your time effectively.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
I would like to own a bakery café in the near future. I want to combine Indian dessert flavors with western desserts. At the CIA we get to experiment with so many different styles of baking and pastry that my knowledge of the field is ever-growing. The academics help me expand my knowledge in the business aspect of the industry, and my interactions with my peers and instructors help me open up to others and face the challenges with the determination to succeed.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
Don’t be afraid of who you are! Be true and kind to yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes; that is why you are coming to a culinary school. The best advice I got from a student the day I moved in was—don’t be afraid to ask your chefs and instructors questions. Remember you are here to learn and they are here to teach you so that you become successful. Most importantly, enjoy your time here! You will miss it when you graduate.