As Walnut Hill College (sadly) prepares to say goodbye to another group of graduates this March, some of our Student Leaders take a moment to reflect on why they chose to study and work in the foodservice and hospitality industry and what (thankfully) led them here.
By Steven Benton, Victoria Green, and Morgan Getler
From left to right: Victoria Green, Steven Benton, and Morgan Getler
Walnut Hill College is a wonderful college that provides so much knowledge throughout both the hands-on and lecture courses. When I started here as a freshman, I had a slight background in the pastry industry from my vocational high school and previous jobs. Considering I already had four years of experience in the pastry field, I came to the college thinking, “How much more could I really learn?” It ended up being very flawed thinking on my part, as I learned way more in my first two terms as a freshman than I did throughout my four years in the industry. I have gained so many skills, from hospitality and communication to actual knife skills and kitchen terms. As a result of the knowledge gained from the program up to this point, I am currently an assistant pastry chef at Wishbone, a small restaurant where I have full control of the Pastry Department when I am there. Walnut Hill College has rapidly broadened my understanding of the kitchen and how it works, and I find myself updating my resume constantly. This college has gotten me so far and I can’t wait to see how much farther I will go because of it.
Pastry Arts, Class of July 2019
When I interviewed for my current job, I had just finished orientation to begin my first freshman term at Walnut Hill College. I spoke to the current food and beverage director, and he inquired about my schooling and the content I was learning. When I explained the courses I was enrolled to take, he seemed very impressed. After I was hired, he took on the general manager position and continued to follow up with my progress in college, always helping me in areas I struggled in and giving me real-life, hands-on applications. The food and beverage position is still open, and now that my boss has seen what I have learned and where I am going in my career, he has made it known to me that I am being considered for the spot. Throughout my time here I have moved up in the company, all thanks to the education I have received at Walnut Hill College. Had I not learned fine dining etiquette and cost control, I would not be successful in both the banquet section and bar section of the establishment. I am excited to continue to move up in the company, and thanks to my schooling, many doors have been opened. From starting as a server in the bar and banquet to moving up to floor manager and banquet captain/wedding concierge, I have no one but Walnut Hill College to thank.
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2019
I started off my journey in the hospitality field in ninth grade, when I was able to pick Culinary Arts as my technical shop. I learned as much as possible under the direction of Chef Colin Marsh and I worked in the back of house at a brewery for three years as a line cook. In the twelfth grade, I was looking for colleges and I found Walnut Hill College. Truthfully, I didn’t know which major to go into, but as I visited the college I met Professor Simonis, and he inspired me to pursue Restaurant Management. He taught me so much as I went through my associate degree in Restaurant Management. I owe it to Professor Simonis for helping me to choose my major. I try my best to absorb as much information out of every opportunity I get from the college, and as I begin my final terms here at Walnut Hill College, I can’t help but think about where I came from…
Restaurant Management, Class of July 2018