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Kristen Yi is a 2016 International Gold & Silver Plate Society stipend recipient. She attends Cornell University and is majoring in Food Science. Find out what she had to say when we asked her a few questions about her foodservice stipend and future career.


What is your major & what made you decide on it?
I am currently majoring in Food Science at Cornell and decided to major in the field my junior year of high school after learning about food science from the author of a baking blog I liked to read. Having been the first time I had ever heard of food science, she truly sparked my interest in studying food science with her enthusiastic descriptions of her experience working in research & development and product development for international food companies.

How has your stipend enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
My stipend has further enabled me to pursue a career in foodservice by generously giving me the means to cover housing costs for summer internships.

What was your first job in foodservice?
My first job in foodservice was working as a food runner in high school for a local dine-in movie theater. I helped arrange plates and deliver orders to customers while they watched movies, and it was an exciting and fun summer job that introduced me to the fast-paced environment of foodservice.

What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
My "dream job" as of now is to one day work for a coffee company in either a product development or food safety related position. Cornell's food science program has really broadened my view on the extensive possibilities that are out there for food scientists, so I'm still open to other opportunities that may arise! 

What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
Thanks to the ever helpful and caring faculty and staff at the Food Science department at Cornell, I am gaining a foundational textbook understanding of food science that I am looking forward to applying to a career in foodservice.

What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
I think one challenge we will always face as students in today's world of foodservice is determining the exact positions we want to hold in the ever-expanding field. The opportunities in foodservice for students today appear endless, and it is often difficult to narrow down exactly where we want to even start our careers. However, I am sure that given time we will all hopefully pave our way to our "dream jobs"!

Do you have mentor? How have they helped you?
Although it's difficult to specify to just one mentor, I would say that my manager at my internship last summer has been a very impactful mentor to me recently. Having traveled across the country to California for the internship, she really went above and beyond in helping me acclimate to the new environment while also giving me invaluable advice on potential future career paths. I am truly grateful for her thoughtful hospitality and insights.

What is your favorite meal?
Although it's not a specific dish, my favorite meal always involves dining with family and friends. I find that the most memorable meals are those shared over delicious food and enjoyable conversations.

What companies have you worked at for internships?
I have interned for a small culinary studio, where I helped instruct cooking classes to both children and adults, and most recently worked for Panda Restaurant Group as a Food Safety Quality Assurance intern.

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 ifma@ifmaworld.com.