How did you become interested in your major?
At a very young age I became interested in baking. Helping my mother and grandmother bake and cook during holidays was always a special treat. Watching them create wonderful meals from what seemed like nothing was always amazing to me. The way they could turn a few simple ingredients into something sweet and delicious seemed like magic to me.
When I was old enough to start working, I took a job as a dishwasher at a local fine-dining restaurant. I had a wonderful chef who was willing to teach me what he knew, and moved me up through different positions in the kitchen to line cook by the time I was 17. That job really ignited my love and passion for fine dining and working in the culinary industry. The fast-paced nature and working under pressure became addicting.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
A lot of people influenced me to pursue baking as a career. My family was behind me 100% and always encouraged me to do what I loved. Also, my chef at my past job really encouraged me to pursue baking and continue my education elsewhere, either at school or working at different sites.
Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
When I first decided to attend the CIA at Greystone I had to figure out the challenges that come with moving across the country to attend school. The staff at the CIA was very helpful with housing, which made the transition very easy and smooth!
Why did you choose the CIA?
I choose to come to the CIA for many reasons. I had always heard great things about the alumni, and the programs offered by the CIA. Also I really liked that the CIA had associate degree programs for baking and pastry arts. And I had always read and saw wonderful things about the teaching staff.
Do you belong to any clubs or participate in any activities or sports on campus?
I participate in the Bread Club and Barbecue Club.
What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
I plan on traveling and working for a few years abroad, then opening a farm-to-table bakery café. My primary focus will be on using organic, sustainable, and local ingredients.
What advice would you give someone who is considering attending the CIA?
The CIA is a wonderful school. Attending the CIA has opened so many doors for me that otherwise wouldn’t have been opened. If you have a good work ethic, passion, and a “sense of urgency,” you will do great!