Trang Phan – Student Bio
“I had a great recommendation from a chef I volunteered with at Peninsula Golf Club, who went to the CIA before. I did some research and fell in love with the CIA during the first video about the campus.”
Major: Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
Campus: Hyde Park, NY
Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
How did you become interested in food?
I have loved cooking since I was a kid and I believe that my mom and my grandma are the people who passed the passion to me. I came to America for studying business but later I found out that I’m happier when I cook and am around people. Therefore, I think culinary and hospitality fit me well.
Do you already have a degree from another college or did you previously have a different career?
Yes, I already graduated with an associate of art and business at Peninsula College in Washington state in 2015.
Why did you choose the CIA?
I had a great recommendation from a chef I volunteered with at Peninsula Golf Club, who went to the CIA before. I did some research and fell in love with the CIA during the first video about the campus. At that time, I was looking for a culinary school that could give me the experience of a big college and where I could get a bachelor’s degree.
How have scholarships and/or grants helped you reach your goal of getting a CIA education?
I had $3,000 in scholarships because I’m an international student who started school in May. It made me happy that I could help my parents with my tuition.
What do you like best about the CIA?
That I have a lot of opportunity to learn and improve myself, not only for my education but also for my future career and my life skills. I have changed so much to become a better person. I believe more in myself and I’m not afraid to take a leadership role anymore.
What is your favorite dish to make?
I love cooking and baking so I love many dishes. It’s very hard to pick one favorite because I prefer to make everything I can.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities/sports on campus?
I’m president of Global Spoon Club. The club’s mission is supporting international students and being a connection between students from different cultures or countries and American students.
I’m also an International student ambassador and an RA.
How has your CIA education prepared you for the business side of food?
The school prepared for me almost everything to make sure when I graduate I not only can be successful with my culinary skills but can also work professionally with everyone, everywhere.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned while at the CIA?
Believing in myself more. I also learn to always try to make everything right.
What are your career goals and how will your CIA education help you get there?
I would like to be an event planner or get a job that relates back of house and front of house at the same time. Therefore, studying at the CIA fit my plan that I can learn culinary skills while also studying more to prepare for my career in the future.
What advice would you give to a new student or someone who is considering attending the CIA?
The CIA is a great school for you to learn and grow. You can have so many opportunity to practice and improve, not only learning kitchen skills but discovering new things about yourself. This school gives you the experience of a big college even though it’s a culinary school.