“The CIA’s master’s program has provided me with knowledge in leadership and has made me reflect on my own leadership style and how I can best serve my team.”
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree and what made you choose CIA’s master’s program?
As a registered dietitian, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree that would diversify my knowledge and skillsets. A degree in Food Business can translate across different sectors of the food industry. CIA’s program allows for flexibility with your personal and professional life by being online, however still provides in-person opportunities to network with your cohort and fellow industry leaders. These characteristics were optimal for someone like me, who is returning to school once my career has already begun.
What is your current position? How has CIA master’s program prepared you for this role?
I am the assistant director of food and nutrition services at one of Kaiser Permanente’s foundation hospitals. CIA’s master’s program has provided me with knowledge in leadership and has made me reflect on my own leadership style and how I can best serve my team. This program has allowed me to reassess how I approach problem-solving and make improvements in the workplace.
Have you landed a new job, begun a new career path, or opened a business since you began your master’s degree journey? How did CIA master’s program aid in this endeavor?
Yes, I started my role as assistant director of food and nutrition services at the beginning of my second year in the CIA master’s program. For my specific field, a master’s degree is preferred for the role. Knowing that I was almost done with my degree was a big plus for the hiring manager. My role as assistant director manages a foodservice operation of about 60 employees and is responsible for food and labor budgets. Food Business is a niche that set me apart from other applicants.
What advice would you give to others thinking about getting their master’s degree at CIA?
A master’s degree is hard work and requires a lot of dedication, however if you are considering returning to school as a working professional, CIA’s program provides you with flexibility to complete your school work on your own schedule.
What course or experience most impacted you? How has helped you meet your career goals?
The Business Fundamentals course provided me with vital information about the broad needs of business. As someone with a science degree, the business world was new to me. The knowledge I gained from this course can translate across jobs and industries.
I also particularly enjoyed the Restaurant Operations and Management Strategies. Even though I don’t currently work in restaurants, the concepts can be applied to food business in general. It sparked inspiration in me to consider more creative areas of our industry and even consider opening my own business.
How were you able to balance your personal life and job with your studies?
A master’s degree takes commitment and dedication, however I was able to balance school with my job and personal life by integrating the work into my weekly routine.
What do you consider to be the strengths of CIA master’s program?
What networking opportunities and CIA connections does the master’s program provide?
This program requires meeting in person once per year throughout the program which gives students the opportunity to meet and network with other students and faculty. They also have a Mentor Network program that allows students to connect with established leaders in the industry.