UCB students inspired by successful alumni

May 2015

Students from all years of UCB’s Culinary Arts Management (CAM) course attended an annual Careers Evening in the Brasserie Restaurant. 

Nearly 40 CAM alumni travelled to UCB for the event from as far away as Oxford, London and Leeds. A selection of them gave short presentations, telling over 80 current students how their careers have progressed since graduation. They are now employed in a range of sectors within the culinary industry including product development, catering, hospitality, sales, senior chef roles and teaching positions. 

The other alumni introduced themselves and talked informally to the students about the career choices they made and how they came to work in their current position. They highlighted the areas of their UCB education that they felt had the biggest impact on their career, such as a particular modules and the value of where they went on work placement. 

Simona Cohen-Vida, who works in product development at Waitrose, said: “After I graduated in 2012 I joined Sainsbury’s on their graduate scheme and gained a lot of hands-on experience. If anyone is interested in a career in product development, my advice would be to apply for graduate schemes after completing your course.”

Rebecca Boast is another recent graduate, who works as a tutor at Raymond Blanc’s Cookery School. “A big part of my role is working to develop cookery classes for the general public and I communicate with guests and learners on a regular basis,” she said. “My advice would be to maintain your people skills as well as your technical skills as you never know what career opportunities will present themselves to you.”

Many of the students got to speak to the alumni informally and ask questions about their individual job roles, their skill sets and what it’s like to work as a professional in different aspects of the industry. Students also took the alumni on a tour of UCB’s new cooking facilities, including the new Food Science and Innovation Suite on the fourth floor. 

The annual Culinary Arts Management Evening is a unique opportunity for current students from all years of the course to meet CAM graduates from a range of industry sectors, working at all levels. They are able to find out the value of the subjects they study on the programme and how these are applicable to the job opportunities they will have once they graduate. Networking at these events can lead to industry placements as well as full and part-time job opportunities. The CAM alumni also enjoy returning to the university to catch up with the course team and see our state-of-the-art facilities.

Holly Bamunuge, Culinary Arts Management lecturer at UCB