I was first introduced to the rich, stimulating world of catering at the age of twelve, when I first helped with my mother’s catering. Gradually, I took on more and more responsibilities and before long, I was helping with menu planning and was put in charge of table decorating. I longed for the thrill of those last ten minutes before people are served, when the kitchen becomes a whirlwind and we jump into action, rushing platters onto the buffet table and mixing the bowls of punch, adding ice to the lemonade, and making last minute checks to be sure we hadn’t forgotten a thing.
In my sophomore year at Smith, I got a job at the College President’s House, working as a server and kitchen assistant. I was later told by the staff manager that there had been heavy competition for the job, but that my extensive catering experience had ensured my employment. They relied upon my experience to train the others, even though I, too had never worked at the President's House. I was overjoyed to be back in the catering world. Each week, I eagerly awaited the moment when I would walk through the kitchen door to the rich aromas of Mark’s cooking which would dissolve all my worries about upcoming papers and tests. It was like stepping into a different world. I loved every minute of it.
Working at the President’s House afforded me exposure to formal, small-scale catering. I learned proper table settings, fancy napkin folding, table etiquette, and adapted to working with a new chef and for prestigious clientele. At first, I was nervous about working in such a high-stakes setting, but I was relieved to find that my ability to think clearly in high-stress situations had been finely tuned over the years of working for my mom. My skills, knowledge, reliability and leadership were acknowledged by the chef and waitstaff manager and I was frequently asked to train new workers and to step in for last-minute cancellations. I have been specifically requested to serve on several prestigious occasions. I have worked at the President’s House for almost two years now, and hope to earn the position of waitstaff manager in my Senior Year.