Glenecia Gowens CIA culinary arts student, large bio photo

Spotlight On: Glenecia Gowans '16Associate Degree in Culinary Arts

Hometown: Corinth, TX
"Eventually I want to own a restaurant. Working both sides of a restaurant will give me the hands-on experience and education I will need to pursue my dreams."

How did you become interested in your major?
Since I was a young girl I have loved to cook. I would pretend to cook in my restaurant that was a toy wagon and I always watched cooking shows like "30-minute Meals" and "Chopped". From there a passion blossomed and I knew one day I would be going to my dream school and making the world a better place through food.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue this career?
My mother. She has always believed in me and allowed me to express myself through cooking. As a young girl she would let me experiment in the kitchen and, once I got old enough to see over the stove-top, she let me do my own thing. When I wanted to give up she would remind me of my accomplishments and tell me to keep going because I love what I do.

Why did you choose the CIA?
To experience the culinary world in CIA's diverse environment. Also to get away from home to spread my wings and experience things I would never dream of. I chose this school because it is the best in the US and I knew once I got here I would find people who would change my life for the better. I would find people who will become lifelong friends and mentors.

What do you like best about the CIA?
The opportunities given to me as a future alumnus. Becoming an alumnus of the CIA I am more likely to get better job offers and a more in depth and educational experience. Employers will take one look at my resume and see the CIA name and instantly know that I have been well educated and exposed to the modern culinary world, ensuring I have a better chance than just walking in without prior school education.

What is/are the best lesson(s) you've learned while at the CIA or what advice would you give to new students?
Work hard, study hard. The work is not as simple as you think. If you are willing to put in the study and homework time, there will be a reward in the end. It seems hard at first but once graduation is in sight, all the long study hours and stress will be worth it.

What are your career goals or plans right after graduation?
Work in a family restaurant front and back of house to gain experience in both. I am planning to work both because eventually I want to own a restaurant. Working both sides of a restaurant will give me the hands-on experience and education I will need to pursue my dreams.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending the CIA?
If you really want a career in the hospitality field, then apply to CIA. If you are not 110% sure you want to have a hospitality career, then don't waste your time enrolling. The curriculum is no joke, the work is hard, the hours are long, but at the end of the day you are happy to be here and excited for your future.

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