Cynthia Arias-Dowling is a 2013 IFMA Educational Foundation Scholarship recipient. She attends Kansas State University and is majoring in Dietetics. Find out what she had to say when we asked her a few questions about her foodservice scholarship and future career.
What is your major & what made you decide on it?
My major is Dietetics, what made me decide on this major was the lack of knowledge in my family about how health is impacted by food. Growing up, my mother was always very ill; as I got older I began to understand the relationship between health and food.
How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
This contribution has given me an opportunity to dedicate more of my time to leadership opportunities and be financially stable as I enter a new phase of my career and apply to the Coordinated Program of Dietetics at K-State this spring.
It was the first step to understanding the importance and the role of food safety in a foodservice environment.
What was your first job in foodservice?
When I was 17, I got my second job at a franchise Starbucks located inside the Marriott Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. I would make coffee drinks as well as serve bakery items to customers. This job was my first exposure to food safety. It was the first step to understanding the importance and the role of food safety in a foodservice environment.
What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
My dream job after graduation would be to be part of a team managing the foodservice department in a public school nutrition environment. I want to be part of the team that makes sure the future of America are well fed. Nutrition is vital for the young minds that are the future of our nation.
Do you have a mentor? How have they helped you?
I consider Dr. Mary Molt, the Assistant Director of Housing and Dining at Kansas State University to be my mentor. Throughout my college career she has helped me with big decisions and guided me throughout my internship at Derby Dining Center at Kansas State University.
What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
Foodservice is a very competitive world. You want to make sure that you are part of different opportunities to keep your resume competitive.
What have you learned that you will apply to your career?
One of the things that I realized as I work in foodservice is that it is not just about the food, the product could not be all it could be without the people behind it. Managing people is a big part of the job, every single person in the operation is important to our success. I have also learned many of the logistics that are involved in coordinating such a big operation as a dining center.
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is a Peruvian dish called "Papa a la Huancaina." This dish consists of sliced boiled potatoes over a bed of lettuce
covered in a creamy cheese sauce. This sauce is made with queso fresco (part skim milk cheese), peruvian yellow hot pepper, evaporated milk and oil. All blended to perfection. It is garnished with half a boiled egg and a black olive.
About The IFMA Educational Foundation
The IFMA Educational Foundation promotes the next generation of foodservice leaders. The Foundation is committed to give qualified culinary, marketing or food science students support toward completion of education requirements. Over the years, we've accomplished our goal by providing scholarships, publications, educational programs, internships and stipends to accredited institutions and individuals enrolled in accredited institutions.
Do you want to support the next generation of foodservice by making a donation to IFMA's Educational Foundation? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.