Andrea Colestock is a 2016 IFMA Education Foundation scholarship recipient. She attends Michigan 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?
I study Dietetics at Michigan State University. I decided on Dietetics for my love of food and my passion for helping others. I am extremely interested in healthier alternatives to common foods that still taste great. My intermediate culinary skills and my interest in counseling others on cooking techniques and recipes allows me to have a fresh perspective in Dietetics outside of the clinical field.
How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
This stipend has made a great impact in my future as my Dietetic Internship and supervised practice will be significantly more affordable. I will be able to solely focus on my food service rotation where I will gain important experience in what my future career could be pertaining to the food service field of Dietetics.
What was your first job in foodservice?
My first job in food service was when I was 16 years old and I began working at a Cold Stone Creamery store as a crew member and then shortly graduated to a shift leader. I had the responsibility of managing the store and other crew members when my supervisor was not present. I also learned to handle some of the financial aspects of the store such as counting the cash register and compiling a cash drop for the supervisor. With this food service experience and my interest in Dietetics, I was able to receive a job as a Dietary Aide at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital where I still currently work.
What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
My "dream job" after I graduate and have more culinary practice, would be to conduct my own cooking demonstrations where I can present new techniques and recipe ideas to clients who are in need of nutritional counseling. This way I can practice Dietetics while also fulfilling my passion for culinary arts.
What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
I have learned so many things from my courses as well as my clinical food service experiences. I have learned that when it comes to food, we have endless options and choices. I also have a lot of experience in dietary recommendations and I apply them everyday to my own life and the life of others when I work with patients at the hospital. I've also learned that it is very important to understand that different people view different food items in their own ways and that we can look at this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage because we have so many food options.
What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
With Dietetics being such a small concentration, it is very competitive. I constantly have to find something that will set me apart from another student. It is also very important to understand that everyone thinks differently than you and that they can make choices for themselves. Even if they may not be the choices you would make, you have to accept that.
Do you have mentor? How have they helped you?
My mentors would have to be my close peers that I take my classes with. Dietetics is a fairly small concentration and we are a very close-knit family who all share the same passions and similar goals. They have pushed me to work harder and to gain as much experience as I can in as many realms as I can so that I can be as well rounded as possible. Through my mentors, I have learned how to work well with others and to work hard towards my goals.
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal to prepare for myself would be some kind of Thai or Asian inspired cuisine. I love to cook with a lot of vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, garlic, onion etc. I love to add a curry sauce or even to make my own sauce from scratch.
What companies have you worked at for internships?
I have worked at Allegan General Hospital as an intern in the Food and Nutrition Department.
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.