Channeling Your Strengths to Making A Difference

Graduated from the class of 2015 in the Culinary Program.

This article is part of our Legends Interview Program. An Alumni Association initiative to record the experiences of alumni and share with our community. This interview took place on April 21st, 2022. Schedule an interview or submit your own story to us by emailing us at

For current East Tech juniors, have the following thoughts ever occurred in your head? 

  • Is this program right for me when I graduate?
  • Is it okay to just try something different after I graduate?
  • What’s going to be my next step after graduating from East Tech?

If you’ve said “yes” to one of those questions. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Many alumni that graduated have gone through what you’ve experienced, and it’s totally normal. 

I chose a different career from Culinary and I am currently a union organizer at AT&T for “Communication Workers of America”, an organization focused on helping employees fight any workplace injustice as well as working on enacting policies on the state level to improve worker conditions. 

Here are a couple of career tips I wanted to share as you figure out what you want to do after graduating from East Tech.

You’ve Had Clues Throughout Your Life

Go through your life and write down the things that you enjoyed doing, your personality, and the things you’ve enjoyed doing at East Tech. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve realized that I personally refused to be bullied by anyone. At East Tech, I enjoyed presenting and found it was easy for me to talk to anyone. From going back into my life, I’ve realized that a career in communication was a career path I would enjoy.

Take A Bigger Look at Your Program

One of the biggest opportunities you get at East Tech is studying the full four years in your program. While many people will continue to pursue a post secondary degree in the program, there are those who might right realize this may not be something you want to continue and that’s totally okay!

Remember, it’s better to figure out things you don’t like early on in your life versus going through additional years in school and spending more money to finally realize this isn’t what you want to do.

My biggest take on this is to look back at the things you did in the program and truly figure out if this is something you see yourself enjoy doing in the future. I realized before I graduated that while I enjoyed the culinary program, being in the culinary industry wasn’t something I would enjoy. There are multiple certifications you would have to pass to make sure you stayed compliant in the culinary industry.

No Clue? Try Different Things 

Don’t worry, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  I decided to pursue a career in dentistry in college, and found out quickly that dentistry wasn’t the right industry for me. I’ve also worked at 11 different jobs and this helped me narrow down things I’ve enjoyed and things I didn’t enjoy. So if you’re still unsure, write down a couple of careers you want to try and go for it!

Don’t Compare Yourself With Others

I cannot stress this enough. You are not competing with anyone but yourself. You have time to figure out what you want to do and you shouldn’t compare yourself with any of your classmates. Some people will figure out early on what they want to do, but it may not be the right time for you. Take a break and figure out the career path you want to focus on.

Don’t Burn Bridges

For a lot of industries, you’ll quickly learn that it’s all about building relationships. While you try different careers, try not to burn bridges and do your best to leave on good terms. You never know if an opportunity will arise that may not have been open to you at the time. During COVID, I’ve been reached out by my past workplaces asking me to come back. 

Have A Mentor

There are many teachers and staff at East Tech that want to see you succeed. Whether you choose to continue your program or try something else, it doesn’t hurt to talk to someone at East Tech about what you want to do. One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Rawson who really helped me when I tried different jobs and even provided a reference letter for one of the jobs I tried. 

I hope you take these tips as wisdom from someone who has been in your shoes. Remember to figure out what you truly enjoy and best of luck!

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