312 - 540 - 4400

Matthew Federici is a 2019 IFMA Education Foundation scholarship recipient. He attends the Cornell University and is majoring in Hotel Administration. Find out what he had to say when we asked him a few questions about his foodservice scholarship and future career.


Matthew Federtici, Cornell University

Matthew Federtici, Cornell University


What is your major & what made you decide on it?
My major is Hotel Administration. Since I was in sixth grade, I have known that I wanted to be in the foodservice industry. Growing up in the business, I had firsthand exposure to what the field was like. At the end of 8th grade, I decided to apply a Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management 4 year program at my local high school. Successfully completing this program, I was set on going to pursue Hospitality. Specifically, I wanted to attend a university that specialized in hospitality business. That lead me to Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, the number 1 program in the country for hospitality.

How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
This scholarship has enabled me to pursue a career in foodservice as it takes weight off the financial burden that comes with getting a college degree. I can now take jobs that may pay less but offer great opportunities because of the lessened debt I have to take on.

What was your first job in foodservice?
My first foodservice job was working at my family's pizzeria and restaurant.

What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
My "dream job" after graduation is to become involved with a company that has some aspect of foodservice. This includes any company that entails disrupting the space with foodservice technology or working the floor of a Michelin start restaurant.

What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
I have learned many different things about the business realm while at Cornell University. I hope to employ more business-focused strategies in the foodservice industry while remaining true to its core of service.

What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
In today's world of foodservice, some challenges faced is the current attractiveness of the industry. Most students today are not wanting to work on holidays or weekends, as well as working many hours for little pay. This causes the industry to loose out on potential talent to help it grow and evolve.

Do you have a mentor? How have they helped you?
I have many mentors. They include family members, educators, and a few previous managers. They all have helped me excel and advance further in life (in all aspects). They have taught me value lessons that I still carry to this day.

What is your favorite meal?
I would definitely have to say my favorite meal is Pizza and Salad.

About The IFMA Education Foundation

The IFMA Education Foundation promotes the next generation of foodservice leaders. The Foundation is committed to giving 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.