Friday, October 30, 2009

CIA launches Manager-In-Training program for select graduates

Thirty graduates of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) are working at the college as managers-in-training in various kitchens and dining rooms. The new manager-in-training (MIT) program at the CIA expands upon the previous graduate fellowship and teaching assistant programs. MITs include both recent graduates and those who have spent more time in the industry.

"The term 'manager-in-training' is recognized throughout the foodservice industry. Employers know that the CIA is providing further education to truly prepare these select alumni to be managers and leaders," Jennifer Purcell, associate dean for restaurant education and coordinator of the program, said in a press statement. "Our graduate fellows and teaching assistants shared with us that they wanted more education and more depth to enhance their training. We are now providing that depth."

Purcell says the program is very hands-on, as participants work side-by-side with a faculty mentor and assist in supervising the efficient function of operations in their designated area. To successfully fulfill their duties in the program, each manager-in-training must complete self-directed learning modules and demonstrate they have met specific educational objectives. There are also opportunities for these graduates to earn professional development certifications.

During their one-year terms, managers-in-training are employees of the CIA. (As fellows and teaching assistants, they were considered students.) They can apply for additional stints as managers-in-training in other areas of the college.

"It is both a leadership opportunity and a great way to continue my education in an area that interests me," says Kevin McCann, 30, an MIT in Meat Fabrication. The Syracuse, NY native hopes to soon open an Internet-based sausage company. "I work with meat and charcuterie every day. I would never be able to get this much hands-on experience working with any other butcher. This is as much a part of my education as anything I've done at the CIA."

Managers-in-training at the CIA are working in the kitchen and dining rooms of all five public restaurants on the college's Hyde Park, NY campus; the baking and pastry arts department; Quantity Food Production classes; Meat Fabrication; and Seafood Fabrication.

Kevin McCann '09 (left), manager-in-training at the CIA, works closely with associate professor Thomas Schneller in the college's Meat Fabrication room. (Photo credit: CIA/Keith Ferris)