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...Of a Catering Manager

Photo of Catering ManagerAs a catering manager, my days are full. My hotel books wedding receptions, corporate meetings, charitable fundraisers, and banquets for all sorts of occasions. My job is to make sure that everything goes smoothly, from set-up to tear-down, and that our clients are pleased with every detail. There is a lot involved, from silverware to sound systems, but I have a great team. I take excellent care of them, and together, we take outstanding care of our clients and their guests.

I love working in a hotel. The grounds and rooms are beautiful and clean, and, I get to talk to interesting and exciting people every day. It's not like running a factory where things are always the same. My favorite part of the job is the chance to be really creative with the decorations, the layout. It's like getting to design and create a new restaurant every day. Our clients come up with a theme or style, and we put it all together. The lighting, the place settings, the table decorations and backdrops, and of course, we can't forget the food. It has to look perfect and taste great. And it does!

I work closely with our executive chef to plan menus that fit the theme and the client's budget. One of our chefs is a master ice sculptor. My favorite was a pair of swans that she did for a big wedding reception a few months back. Do you know how hard it is to carve a swan out of ice?

I deal with a lot of diverse people and situations every day, and the education I received from the CSU was just the preparation I needed. Things go at a very fast pace and some days the hours are long. Knowing how to work with all sorts of people, and how keep the service level high, makes it all possible. And when we get it right, this job and this team are an awful lot of fun. These are things I learned as a CSU student and I use them every day.

With my CSU education I can go anywhere. I am confident in my skills and the knowledge about the industry that my professors taught me. The combination of academics and experience really helps me show what I can do. I have a lot of freedom, and there are so many possibilities in this industry that I'm still finding out about new ones every day. Maybe someday I'll manage a high-end buffet in a prestigious casino. Maybe I'll go overseas. But for now, I'm very happy doing what I'm doing. California is a great place to be. We've got everything, from great beaches in the summer and ski slopes in the winter, to major cities and natural wonders like Yosemite National Park.

We all worry about what might happen to the economy, but people will still need to eat, rest, and travel. So I figure there will always be room for someone like me, a professional with a degree in hospitality management. This career really suits me, and coming to the CSU was one of the best choices I have ever made. Just look where I am now!


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