What made you choose Hillsdale?
I applied to Hillsdale and schools in Minnesota, and I felt that I wasn’t really valued by those schools when I had applied. I didn’t get much scholarship money, they didn’t seem to want me there. Hillsdale seemed like the option because they really cared and it was a spur of the moment decision. It was the right one, because I fell in love right away
What did you major in and why?
I was a double major in philosophy and mathematics. I primarily started with my philosophy major because it allowed me a great level of creativity. I feel lucky that all my professors allowed me to express myself in those courses. They would give prompts, but would allow me to write something else if I had something other in mind. They were very supportive of me pursuing in what I was interested in within the course’s bounds. This helped me when I had to take on higher level work, like writing my thesis. I wouldn’t have been able to come up with the topic that I did if I hadn’t pushed outside the box.
I think that my majors, specifically philosophy, gave me the creative thinking that is required for the position in marketing. It takes a creative way of thinking and that can be fostered in a more liberal arts major, like philosophy or English. They encourage you to be creative even if it doesn’t seem relevant, it really does make you think outside the box.
What do you enjoy about working for Bon Appetit?
I enjoy the people, including the students, that I work with. They bring joy to my life in different ways. They’re all unique people and it’s nice to do things with them that are fun and exciting. I’ve always loved food and have been cooking for a very long time. I used to bond with my mom when we would watch Food Network t.v shows, like Rachel Ray. It was fitting that I came to a position where I was working with food, even if it’s not in that direct cooking manner. I do enjoy the creative side of it, because I think cooking can be an art form. It’s about the methods of what you’re doing with it, but also what you can create with that. Playing with flavors is a way to experience beauty just as much as anything else. So it’s really fun for me to bring different foods to the college and show what Bon Appetit has to offer to the students through my own methods.
What are some things you have learned/benefited from it?
Bon Appetit has helped me develop interpersonal skills with other people. It’s taught me how to gauge individuals’ skills and interests, so that I can best work with them. My job is primarily coordination, so I’m working with a lot of older people to do what I’m doing with respect to marketing. Because of that, I have to learn other people’s styles of how they work and what they thrive doing. I don’t want to make their job a burden by introducing the marketing component to it. I want to make it a seamless whole.
What are some tips about Saga you’d like people to know?
We are always willing to work with people with dietary restrictions. We are well aware that students live gluten-free lifestyles or don’t eat meat. So we do want to work with them to ensure that they do have more options. We want to help, but we won’t know unless they reach out to us. We want to help you, we’re here for the students to make sure that they’re healthy and happy. It does help to go on our website and learn what the menu icons mean, because they’re informative for people with special diets.
I try to schedule educational and interactive events, both as something that the company offers as a tool for me and that it’s good for guests. Our Food Fair Well-Being series, which we’ll usually do two different topics a month, is very informative about eating healthy. For example, one of the topics was about added sugars and how to be aware of them. We should only have a certain amount of sugar a day and Americans typically have a lot more than the maximum. An instant oatmeal pack has an insane amount of sugar and I don’t think a lot of people realize something like that. A lot of people overlook these kinds of things, but they’re really important to learn about.
Any secret food combinations?
You can often combine what is in Market with food around the cafe. It’s a cool food trick you can do. To mix it up, you can get vegetables from Comfort or Passport. You can get a pretty complete meal if you think about what you’re plating. Just being more mindful, not just what you can do quickest, is more rewarding as well. A lot of people do like to plan what they’re going to eat and we do send menus out everyday in email inboxes if you’re subscribed.