Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Student Anthony Dick micro-blog

The Chef’s Academy’s Student Advisory Board Blog Entry - 05/21/2010                 

By Anthony Dick, Hospitality & Restaurant Management Student Representative
What Made You Decide To Come To Culinary School & What Keeps You Coming Back For More?
This being the month of May and in the city of Indianapolis, it is fitting that I would be asked to write this week’s blog entry. Why? In a way, the Indianapolis 500 had a lot to do with my decision to attend culinary school. I love to cook and being in a kitchen, and I first learned from both my parents and my grandmother at a fairly young age. But I never thought that I could make a career out of it. When The Chef’s Academy opened its doors in 2006 I had seen its infomercials advertising the school and I became intrigued. However, I dismissed the possibility and continued on with my life. Eight years ago, I can remember getting together with seven or eight of my old high school buddy’s and going to one of my first Indy 500’s. We decided we were going to enjoy the race from the infield, or what was once called “The Snake Pit.”  We had an old Fire/Ice grill, a pack of brats and frozen burgers, and a pony keg. We had a blast! Since then, our race party has grown and grown and taken on a life of its own. Last year we had over one hundred people, three grills, three sets of three burners, four 12 x 12 tents, and we serve a full breakfast and lunch with 6 full size kegs and a bar! We even have our crest and our own t-shirts. We call ourselves THE RACEDAY ALLSTARS, and we consider ourselves to be a college fraternity that only exists for one day a year. We have a hell of a good time! As one of the main administrators for this event year after year, I thinking to myself, “WOW, I’m getting pretty good at this. Maybe I could do this for living?” That is when my culinary school adventure began. There were many other reasons why I decided to come to The Chef’s Academy, but it was last year’s Indy 500 that really pushed me in the right direction. Since then, I started school in October 2009 and haven’t missed a single class in almost eight months. I just started my fourth term, and I have to say, I love every minute of it!  I’ve learned so much, and as a Culinary Arts and Hospitality & Restaurant Management double major, I get a chance to learn about the food service industry from both points of view. I’ve seen and done things that I’ve never thought possible, and all it took was a little push to get me started. That’s my story, that’s why I’m here: to see if my passion can become my career. That’s what sustains me in the tough times when I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning or study late at night. That dream is what keeps me going and coming back for more. Why did you decide to come to culinary school or what’s stopping you? What sustains you and keeps you coming back for more? What’s stopping you from making your dreams a reality? Think about it. Who knows, maybe you’ll come to love The Chef’s Academy as much as I do. In dreams, as in life, nothing is impossible, if you believe.   

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome to our HRM 1030 Class - Technology for the Hospitality Industry!

The best way to learn about technology is to use it. In this class we work primarily on the computer. A course specific website is setup for student’s to have access 24/7 to the class syllabus and school policies. In addition, chapter PowerPoint presentations are posted to the site, as well as, a variety of technology website links that student’s are encouraged to visit.

Technology is ALWAYS changing! What is current today may not be applicable tomorrow. Therefore, we must be on the lookout for changes, updates, and new technological advances in and around the hospitality industry. Our goal is not to be computer programmers; but, we must familiarize ourselves with the basics. As stated in our Managing Technology in the Hospitality Industry textbook,

". . . in order to use technology, a manager does not need to learn
the intricacies of electronic circuitry etched on silicon chips.
The manager simply needs to learn the commands by which
to instruct the system to carry out the desired functions."

Keeping this in mind, each week students are responsible for sharing with the class a current article that details something new, or a change, or an update in technology for the hospitality industry! Yes, the article has to be submitted electronically - via email to me, the instructor. But, students learn about technology by using it along the way. We tackle technology from as many aspects as we can from creating tri-fold brochures using Microsoft Word and learning the parts of a computer to watching videos on how advanced payroll systems are today!

There are a number of systems utilized in the hospitality industry with the property management system (PMS) being required among hotels, and the point of sale (POS) system being required within restaurants. During each class session, students access PMS simulation modules designed to take them through basic hotel responsibilities from the check-in process to balancing the end of a shift. As a highlight to the course, students are welcomed into area hotels and restaurants to see firsthand the ins and outs of a real-life PMS and POS.

Technology in the hospitality industry is moving and here at The Chef’s Academy we’re moving right along with it!

Please note that HRM 1030 is just one of the industry specific courses offered in our Hospitality & Restaurant Management Program. Join us to learn more about the ever-changing world of technology!

Jokima Hiller, MBA, Hospitality & Restaurant
Management Program Coordinator
Blog Editor – Emily Warner-Hoover, MLS, Librarian

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