Lauren Carroll is a 2016 IFMA Education Foundation scholarship recipient. She attends Western Michigan University and is majoring in Food & Consumer Packaged Good Marketing. 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?
Food & Consumer Packaged Good Marketing, double major in Integrated Supply Management. The community that surrounds Food/CPG Marketing is so welcoming, and the professors do so much more to care about your academic and professional performance. Joining the Food Marketing community, and getting an ISM degree alongside has been the best decision of my life.
How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
By allowing me the extra time to focus on my studies, and having less financial burden, I will be able to more fully dedicate myself to the Food/CPG program at WMU and participate in more co-curricular activities surrounding my majors.
What was your first job in foodservice?
I worked with my mom for a public school kitchen. I would help her on the days that I had off of university, serving middle school students and helping prepare the food beforehand.
What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
I would like to work in category management, or a sales analyst position allowing me to utilize my Business Analytics minor. I love working with data and with data mining software, so a career that lets me do that is what I look forward to.
What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
I learned that no job is beneath me. It doesn't matter what position I start off in because there is always room to learn, grow, and move up in the world. Any professional experience is valuable and a person will get out of it what they put in.
What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
Obviously the money issue is a large issue, with the rising cost of living and the stagnation of minimum wage. Another issue might be the increased pressure to perform in college, since the job market outside of college has gotten increasingly more competitive.
Do you have mentor? How have they helped you?
Dr. Marcel Zondag, who originally got me into WMU's program, has served as a mentor both professionally and personally. I can come to him with any questions I have and he is always willing to help.
What is your favorite meal?
My mom's meatloaf! Every time I go home I ask her to make it.
What companies have you worked at for internships?
SC Johnson, (upcoming 2017) Abbott Nutrition
About the IFMA Education Foundation:
The IFMA Education 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 Education Foundation?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.