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National Restaurant Association - Using Google as search engine for opportunity

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Using Google as search engine for opportunity

Samantha Landwehr loves cooking – and is a big fan of Google.

Landwehr, a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., mixed her passions together with an externship at the technology giant’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

For 15 weeks this summer, Landwehr gained real-world experience working with Bon Appetit Management Co. on Google’s campus. The upscale contract foodservice provider handles all of the tech company’s food and facilities’ needs.

The 19-year-old says the opportunity to work at Google never would have happened had she not enrolled in her Baltimore, Md., high school ProStart program. She competed on her school’s management team, which placed first in state competitions two years in a row and second in the National ProStart Invitational in 2014.

“Because of that success, I learned the value of teamwork, cooperation and leadership,” she says. “Also, through its scholarship program, ProStart helped fund a good portion of my CIA degree. But the best thing of all is it really helped me to get my foot in the door of this industry.”

See the future of foodservice

As part of her externship, she cycled through five or six of the 40 restaurants on campus that provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to all of Google’s employees. Working hand-in-hand with some of Bon Appetit’s most experienced chefs, Landwehr helps produce some 2,000 meals a day and is exposed to a variety of different cuisines.

“The best thing was the one-on-one training,” she says. “I very often was pulled aside by the chef, sous chef or lead cooks and taught a variety of skills, including how to order, sushi making, running a successful line, plus a variety of cooking techniques and knife cuts. I had to quickly adapt to be quick and efficient.”

Landwehr completed her externship Aug. 7, and is returning to the CIA to finish her associate’s degree. She says she plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in restaurant management and applied food studies.

“I’d like to use my degrees to implement a sustainable, positive approach to food,” she says. “And I’d also like to be involved in food policy in some way to address some of the global issues where food is involved.”

Pictured, top right: Samantha Landwehr; above: Google headquarters

Read: Restaurants a great place to ‘start’ career

Go to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation for more information on industry education and training programs. Visit America Works Here to find out more about career opportunities.

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