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Jamie Burroughs is a 2018 IFMA Education Foundation scholarship recipient. She attends University of Illinois Champaign Urbana and is majoring in Food Science with a minor in chemistry. 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'm majoring in Food Science with a minor in chemistry. I love understanding the chemical processes that food goes through and that's why I decided to get my degree. In addition, I have a culinary background and while working in hospitality I noticed how large the food supply system is and I want to be a bigger part of it.

How has your stipend enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
This is my senior year and I have taken out several loans to meet my financial needs for schooling. The stipend will lessen the stress of these loans and in addition help me attain certifications. I have been wanting to purse certifications such as, becoming a certified research chef, and attaining the food safety instructor and proctor certification. This stipend will help me attain my goal of becoming a valued member of the foodservice industry which will help further my career.

What was your first job in foodservice?
My first job in foodservice was at a small Hyatt in the suburbs of Chicago. I was the pastry assistant and had the opportunity to create wedding cakes and mini pastries. Because of this training I have been able to build beautiful wedding cakes for friends and family.

What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
My dream job after I graduate would be working as a research chef formulating and testing new products for the foodservice industry. I would like to use my knowledge of chemistry, product development and sensory evaluation to help others in the industry be successful.

What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
I have learned that you need to be able to keep up in fast-pace environments with emerging and changing requirements. Moreover, I have been studying food chemistry, organoleptic properties and product development to apply to my foodservice career. I believe having an understanding of these processes will help develop safer and more nutritious foods.

What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
Foodservice is constantly changing and it is a challenge to keep up with everything that is going on. Food safety is the most important to stay up to date with. Along with that you must keep up with food trends and create quality products while being sustainable. Innovation today is huge, however it is important that when being innovative if the food industry you understand the repercussions that may come with development of new food products.

Do you have a mentor? How have they helped you?
My summer internship introduced me to numerous mentors that I will continue to stay in touch with throughout my hospitality career. Every F&B manager took me under their wing and taught me an array of different skills. All six managers possessed different supervising techniques, so I observed and adopted a variety of them. I know that my close relationship with each and every one of them will prove helpful in the future. I appreciate everything they have already done for me and I can't wait to use what they taught me to excel in this fantastic industry.

What is your favorite meal?
I love lentils. I like making soups, salads and working with different varieties to attain different textures. I recently made a lentil samosa. They are also inexpensive and nutritious for a college student.

What companies have you worked at for internships?
I worked at US Foods as a product development intern during the summer of 2018.

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.

About People Future 2025 

The IFMA Education Foundations new industry initiative, focused on attracting the best and brightest talent into the foodservice industry. Click here to learn more.

How to help the next generation of foodservice!

  • Support the IFMA Education Foundation by making a donation
  • Get involved in the People Future 2025 initiative

Contact us at ifma@ifmaworld.com.