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By Jonathan Brown
What am I going to do after I complete this degree?
This is the question that is plaguing so many students as they near graduation after years of hard work and dedication. What is the real payoff for them after all that time? Too often in the “real world” students find that the old adage of "it’s not what you know, but who you know" holds true.
The Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality is looking to change that reality, especially in regards to developing students into the future leaders of the hospitality world. Hospitality is a $15 billion business and growing in the Atlanta area, which means that there are going to be plenty of opportunities after graduation in this field for students who take advantage of all of the unique opportunities that are provided in the Leven School.
Other more traditional academic programs tend to rely on theory for educational experience. The Leven School brings a much more hands on approach to education. Whether it is the Lobster Challenge or brewing multiple beer styles for a judging panel or a visit to multiple local distribution warehouses, Leven School students have a unique opportunity to learn by doing from leading professionals in the fields that they are studying.
Recently, the Leven School was proud to welcome Dilip Daya, owner of Olea Oliva! in Marietta. Mr. Daya is one of the few Master of Olive Oil sommeliers in the area and spoke to the students about the benefits of olive oil and how diverse the world of olive oil can really be.
In one of the more unique class offerings, Exploring the World of Wine, students are getting to spend a class period pairing wine with food at Carrabba’s with General Manager Michael Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder not only runs one of the busier scratch kitchen restaurants in Kennesaw but he also helps organize the Taste of Kennesaw as well as Taste of Acworth each fall. This opportunity not only helps develop a practical skill of being able to match food and beverage components for tasting purposes but also allows our students to spend time with a local professional to see what life after a Leven School degree might be like.
The Leven School is proud to have a staff of full time faculty that have spent many decades combined working in the front lines of the hospitality business as Chefs, General Managers, and Beverage Managers. This great amount of real experience allows the Leven School faculty to not only teach students a myriad of applicable skills in the areas of business management, culinary arts, and beverage operations but also show the students how to build a network of contacts. These contacts are then always excited to help show the next generation the ins and outs of the hospitality business world in a classroom setting.
Back to that initial question, what are students going to do after they complete a Leven School Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality degree? The answer lies within the classes they are able to take while achieving that degree and the opportunities that they are provided to develop a great professional network before they even leave college. With these opportunities to learn from current professionals, Leven School students are armed with the ability to not only be successful with what they know but also who they know.