By Greg Hook
It €™s week 4 and now we have a full load and the grumblings of the day to day struggles sometimes are tough €¦classes, homework, studying, papers, midterms, work later on tonight, and the squad wants to hang out. Whether you €™re a freshman starting or a senior in the process of graduating, having patience and keeping your passion has excelled me to being the best restaurateur and college student I €™ve ever been.
Most of us will start college with an image of what we want to become and while I went to community college, that image was teaching. As I was working full-time in a friends €™ family restaurant, I completed a Liberal Arts degree with a concentration in math & sciences. At the time, I thought I would go on to receive a bachelor degree in education. However, over the course of my education at community college, the image I had of myself changed. Every day I challenged myself €¦is this what I want? I realized my true passion was helping and serving others and that I would be much happier in a career that involved working in restaurants. But wait, did I just waste two years? Am I sure I really want to go into restaurants? What does that entail? I had to be patient to find out.
When you don €™t have THE answer, which *hint *hint*, you most likely never will, go with your own gut. My answer was easy €¦I would move to Philadelphia, obtain an Associate degree really quick in Restaurant Management, and then move back to NY and become a manager at the restaurant I €™ve been at forever. However, Walnut Hill College opened my eyes to a much different restaurant industry, and even broader, the hospitality industry in general. Whether its quick service, sit-down, casual, fine-dining, hotels, American food, international food, wines, or spirits, the hospitality industry never ends and neither should your passion.
I feel confident I found mine because I am here now in Week 4 of my last year having chosen to continue into the Bachelor program. I work in fine-dining in center city Philadelphia and have an image of myself managing within the fine-dining industry, or finding a way to teach others about the restaurant business. With a wealth of knowledge, skills, and a network that is ever growing, I have more going on day to day than ever in my life, but I find energy in remembering the original passion I had. When I wonder how sometimes a menial task is applicable to my life, I remember to be patient because hard work pays off. Enjoy today and what it has to offer €¦whether it €™s a new cooking style, wine variety, or management technique, think back to why you started it all and that image you had of yourself. Is it different? Is it the same? Just be patient and keep your passion going.
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-Greg Hook, Student Leader
Restaurant Management, Graduating July 2017