Samuel Reichler is a 2013 IFMA Educational Foundation scholarship recipient. He attends Cornell University and is majoring in Food Science. Find out what he had to say when we asked him a few questions about his foodservice stipend and future career.
What is your
major & what
made you decide on it?
My major is Food Science. I've had an interest in food science since middle school, when it was the subject of a career project I completed. I've always enjoyed reading books and articles which provided explanations for the phenomena I observed when making food at home or at work. After high school I earned a degree in culinary arts, but subsequently decided that I wished to know more about the scientific side of food rather than just its preparation.
How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career
My scholarship means that I can continue working in the research lab, and don't have to find a second or better paying job to support myself. It is enabling me to pursue a degree and a career in food science by allowing me to focus on school and relevant work rather than on earning money.
Food spoilage is a particular area in food microbiology which interests me.
What was your first job in foodservice?
My first job in foodservice was at the Four Corners Luncheonette in Delmar, New York. I started working there when I was fifteen and didn't stop until after I graduated from culinary school in 2010. Though I had many different roles in the restaurant during my five years there, the most memorable was making hard cheese for in-house use.
you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
My dream job is definitely in research. Working in a lab at Cornell really sparked my interest in food microbiology, and that's where I feel I'd like to focus. Food spoilage is a particular area in food microbiology which interests me.
Do you have a mentor? How have they helped
My academic advisor Dr. Alicia Orta-Ramirez is definitely a mentor to me. Apart from the help she provides in course selection and related decisions, she is a never-ceasing fountain of optimism and of ideas for ways I can improve myself. She uses her sarcastic wit to ensure that I'm never complacent or apathetic in my scholastic pursuits.
What are some
of the challenges students like you face in today's world of
I would say the biggest challenge is just getting your foot in the door. Positions for undergraduate research, summer internships, and graduate schools are all very competitive and often require lengthy application and vetting processes to earn, something made difficult by a very busy academic schedule.
What is your favorite meal?
Home-made macaroni and cheese, made with extra-sharp New York State cheddar cheese, is my favorite meal.
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.