Talon Marks

Culinary art students make career connections

From+far+left+to+right%3A+Panelists%3A+Bristol+Farms+food+service+manager+Joseph+Braden%2C+Monarch+Beach+Resort+human+resources+representative+Amy+Gracielo%2C+Panda+Express+senior+human+resources+manager+Elizabeth+Wu%2C+far+right%2C+moderator+William+Hickey+The+Party+Staff+Inc.+director+of+staffing+and+recruitment.+Hickey+lobbed+questions+at+the+panelists+about+recruitment+and+advice+when+interviewing+for+a+potential+job.+Photo+credit%3A+Bianca+Martinez
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Culinary art students make career connections

From far left to right: Panelists: Bristol Farms food service manager Joseph Braden, Monarch Beach Resort human resources representative Amy Gracielo, Panda Express senior human resources manager Elizabeth Wu, far right, moderator William Hickey The Party Staff Inc. director of staffing and recruitment. Hickey lobbed questions at the panelists about recruitment and advice when interviewing for a potential job. Photo credit: Bianca Martinez

From far left to right: Panelists: Bristol Farms food service manager Joseph Braden, Monarch Beach Resort human resources representative Amy Gracielo, Panda Express senior human resources manager Elizabeth Wu, far right, moderator William Hickey The Party Staff Inc. director of staffing and recruitment. Hickey lobbed questions at the panelists about recruitment and advice when interviewing for a potential job. Photo credit: Bianca Martinez

From far left to right: Panelists: Bristol Farms food service manager Joseph Braden, Monarch Beach Resort human resources representative Amy Gracielo, Panda Express senior human resources manager Elizabeth Wu, far right, moderator William Hickey The Party Staff Inc. director of staffing and recruitment. Hickey lobbed questions at the panelists about recruitment and advice when interviewing for a potential job. Photo credit: Bianca Martinez

From far left to right: Panelists: Bristol Farms food service manager Joseph Braden, Monarch Beach Resort human resources representative Amy Gracielo, Panda Express senior human resources manager Elizabeth Wu, far right, moderator William Hickey The Party Staff Inc. director of staffing and recruitment. Hickey lobbed questions at the panelists about recruitment and advice when interviewing for a potential job. Photo credit: Bianca Martinez

Bianca Martinez

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As part of a two day event, students, both high school and college level interested in a career in the culinary or hospitality field were able to visit present employers in the field and get acquainted with the company or present a resume.

The Cerritos College 4th Annual Culinary Arts Extravaganza was held in the Student Center Thursday, Oct. 19 — with the first event being a job exposition with a keynote speaker and a panel comprised of human resources representatives from various companies and franchises in the hospitality and culinary industries.

The event catered to all aspects in the restaurant and hotel industries; students interested in a career in hospitality were able to find resources for a potential job in their preferred field.

Hospitality management major Danielle Carter found a helpful assortment of hospitality career resources at the expo, stating, “They have a lot of good options. So far, we have talked to Marriott, we talked to Bristol Farms, we talked to Party Staff, so they have a lot of different things you can go to.”

Over 19 employers were present at the job expo, where Cerritos College students and high school students from roughly seven high schools in the surrounding area attended.

Paramount High School student, April Prado, felt the expo was helpful to those in search of a job in the culinary field, saying, “Some people don’t really have many resources so when you find out there are so many options for you, it’s really entertaining and interesting.”

After a brief period of discussing resources with the available employers, those present were invited to sit in on a panel where various human resources representatives discuss the do’s and dont’s of creating a resume, submitting a job application and interviewing.

The panel was moderated by The Party Staff Inc. Director of Staffing and Recruitment William Hickey who asked the four panelists, Panda Express Senior Human Resource Manager Elizabeth Wu, Monarch Beach Resorts Human Resources Representative Amy Gracielo and Bristol Farms Food Service Manager Joe Braden common questions most job applicants may have and questions that may provide applicants with helpful tools to initiate when interviewing for a potential job.

Braden shared what he believes to be helpful advice when looking for employment in the career field, saying, “Never give up- never stop fighting for what you want as far as your career… For me, when I started off in the culinary field it was really hard to get ahead because you had all these other people that had years and years of experience and you’re fresh out of school so you want to fight to get those hours and to get to where you want to be.”

After the 45-minute panel discussion, students were allowed to ask the panelists any personal questions they may have for them regarding their career and helpful hints.

After all questions were answered by the panelists, a brief five minute intermission was allotted to allow preparation for the keynote speaker.

During this time, with new interviewing techniques gained, students were allowed to go back and speak with employers at the expo.

The keynote speaker and owner of The Crooked Duck restaurant owner, Joey Rooney, shared his past experiences in the culinary and hospitality industry and shared some helpful tips and anecdotes for those interested in said fields.

Rooney states, “I think if you if you listen, wait and then respond and try to always think about what you are going to say before you say it- especially when you are in a position where you get hired- it’s not what happens, it’s how you handle it and I think that is the best advice on everyday life.”

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
Culinary art students make career connections