Lesson 1: Taking My Own Advice
For over two years, sitting on the sixth floor in ICE’s Career Services department, I have had the great pleasure of taste testing a variety of cookies, croissants, soufflés, tarts, donuts and cakes as they come out of our fifth floor pastry kitchens. And now, three nights a week for the next nine months, I will be in one of those very same kitchens as a student in ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program.
For those of you who may not know, the ICE Career Services Department works with 300 professional students, 4,000 alumni and hundreds of employers and externship sites to help guide our students towards successful career paths. In short, I get to hear the story of where our many students came from and where they want to go. It was my exposure to the amazingly determined and ambitious students at ICE that inspired me (subconsciously, at first) to want to get a deeper understanding of what it is exactly that goes on in the kitchen and take the program!
On my sweet tooth alone, I knew pastry was the way to go. I could honestly live my life eating bread and baked goods for every single meal and I always want to order dessert, even if I haven’t saved room for it. I remember helping my uncle at his bakery by dipping cookies in chocolate with my sister and cousin for hours. Ironically, I currently have a reputation among my family members and friends for being the worst cook. One time in college I made cookies that turned out salty because I missed an ingredient. Oops. It’s a good thing Chef Instructor Nicole Kaplan is leading my first module (with her background, she will whip me into shape in no time).
Although I am certainly excited to learn how to mix dough and batter, temper chocolate and decorate cakes, I am confident I am going to learn a lot more than just what is included in the curriculum. The career advisor in me can’t help but set some goals for the program and at this moment, I have three. First, going through the program will help me better understand the journey of the students I work with. Second, to follow the very same advice I give students and to be open to the possibilities that come my way. And last, to have those around me revel in my culinary success! You can be sure that I will candidly share my experiences with you. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions and comments along the way…