“Joining this program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, it opened the doors I was looking for and introduced me to an incredibly supportive community.”
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree and what made you choose CIA’s master’s program?
I chose the CIA master’s program because I knew I needed a career change. I wanted to be in the hospitality industry but couldn’t find the right way to get my foot in the door. The CIA master’s program gave me the experience and knowledge I needed to pursue the industry I always wanted to be a part of.
What is your current position? How has the CIA master’s program prepared you for this role?
I am currently working as a Sommelier at a seafood-steakhouse restaurant in Connecticut. This job would not have been remotely possible were it not for the practical training I’ve received from the MPS program as well as the confidence and support to take the WSET Sommelier exams.
What advice would you give to others thinking about getting their master’s degree at the CIA?
Don’t wait. Joining this program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, it opened the doors I was looking for and introduced me to an incredibly supportive community.
What course or experience most impacted you? How has it helped you meet your career goals?
There are several people in my cohort interested in a career as a sommelier but for me personally, I’m more focused on the business aspect of the industry. Because of that, I especially appreciated the Entrepreneurship and Global Wine Business classes.
How were you able to balance your personal life and job with your studies?
Balancing both of my jobs with school has been challenging, there’s no doubt about it. There were weeks when it felt overwhelming, but my cohort and the faculty have been so supportive and reminded me that it would be worthwhile in the long run. I am very grateful for their encouragement and for the community I’ve found in this program.
What do you consider to be the strengths of the CIA master’s program?
The community. I didn’t expect to build such strong relationships with other members of my program because we are predominantly remote, but my experience has been quite the opposite. I have met an incredible group of people and built relationships where we are able to learn from one another.
How has the CIA master’s faculty supported your education and professional development?
The CIA master’s faculty is available, responsive, and caring. They are attentive and genuinely care about the cohort and the students. I have found not only great teachers but also mentors.