The Culinary Institute of America

Cassandra Glenn

Spotlight On: Cassandra GlennAOS Baking & Pastry Arts

Class of 2013
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
"I love that everyone at the CIA is here for the same reason; food...there’s a passion that unites everyone and I really love it."

How did you become interested in food?
I became interested in baking when I was very young. My mother would always encourage me to go into the kitchen and make the family cookies or brownies for dessert. At first, I wasn’t so great—making mistakes or leaving out ingredients—but with time I became more confident and improved my skills. Eventually I was making cream puffs out of my kitchen and attempting to master more and more difficult skills. I plan to keep mastering the art of baking one step at a time.

Who most influenced you?
Again, I would have to say my mother. I began my college experience at a traditional school, studying biology. And, although I enjoyed it, it just wasn’t my passion. It was over some long, late night talks with my mother that I really got to the heart of the matter: I love baking. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to pursue this career choice. She has always been supportive and believed in me.

Did you have to overcome any obstacles or challenges to come to the CIA?
I have not been faced with any major challenges before coming to the Culinary Institute. The biggest problem I had to face was the nervousness that comes with pursuing a new career, and doing something you have never really done before. My six months work experience was my first real chance to work in a kitchen and I really pushed myself to be involved and try my hand at every new technique I could learn. Over time, I gained a sense of confidence and reassurance that I had finally found the right industry for me.

Do you have a previous degree/career?
I studied biology for one year at another university. Although I enjoyed it, I never had my heart in it and therefore I had to reassess what I was truly passionate about and my career choices.

Why did you choose the CIA?
I chose the CIA after some research and a visit to the campus. I had spoken to the chefs at my work experience site and they had all said the same thing “The culinary is the best value for your money. Either you go there or you don’t go.” After hearing this, I just had to come see the campus and check out what the internet had to say. Everyone I talked with was in agreement that the CIA is the premiere culinary school and after visiting I agreed that it was where I wanted to invest in my education.

What do you like best about CIA?
I love that everyone at the CIA is here for the same reason; food. Everyone walking around campus is friendly and approachable and the chefs are so knowledgeable. You can sit down with anyone at Farquharson Hall and have a conversation about baking or cooking and really get to know someone in very little time. The connections you make here are ones that you will use your entire career and I don’t think the campus atmosphere could make it any easier. There’s a passion that unites everyone and I really love it.

What are your career goals/plans?
Currently I am planning to get a job in my hometown after graduation to be closer to my family. I hope to eventually move to a large city to work in a bakery or restaurant to build on my experience and learn new techniques. Long-term, I hope to open my own bakery business.

Any advice for prospective students?
My advice to someone considering the CIA would be to understand that you will not find a better place to learn your skill. Everyone at the CIA is so well versed in their areas of expertise and enjoying sharing the information with you. There is always something new to learn and you will develop all the skills and knowledge you need, all while having a fabulous time. The CIA is the place to fulfill your passion and turn your dreams into a reality.

The Culinary Institute of America

1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499