Student Spotlight: Margaret Glenzinski
Major: Culinary Arts
Margaret Glenzinski knew she wanted to pursue something in the culinary field but was unsure of what that would be.
So she enrolled at College of DuPage, taking one class at a time, knowing little about the Culinary Arts program but thankful that it was close to home.
“My sister and I had an opportunity to own a restaurant. We did it for two years and were both novices in the field. We just knew how to cook – we thought we did – and it was a good run,” said the former early childhood teacher-turned-restauranteur whose first professional cooking job, at the Lathrop House in Forest Park, whet her appetite for more.
It wasn’t until her second year at COD, when the new Culinary & Hospitality Center opened on campus, that she began to understand the opportunities ahead of her.
“Once the program moved, I realized the quality and value of the program. I was then able to take more classes at a time and began to feel some continuity,” she said. “While my goals were to become a better cook, the coursework expanded my expectations as well as my knowledge in the field. The program has a well-rounded choice of courses that will be relevant in my future work situations.
“Personally, I have become a better student, more organized and prepared for class. This is mostly due to the high expectations and prevalent and quality information given from each of my instructors.”
While at the College, Glenzinski received the Tony Priolo Chef Scholarship and was one of 16 selected to participate in the Testa Cooking competition. Although she did not place, she did receive a monetary award for her participation.
In 2014, she completed a three-month student internship at Waterleaf, working alongside Chef Nadia Tilkian. She set up for lunch and brunch three days a week, prepping the line and implementing through the meal.
Glenzinski hoped the hands-on learning experience would add finesse and efficiency to her cooking, and after the internship finished, she was invited to join the Waterleaf team as a line cook.
After earning her certificate, Glenzinski would like to be involved in the community, volunteering her time to cook. She would also like to pass on her knowledge to others and teach cooking.
She highly recommends College of DuPage’s Culinary Arts program and encourages others to take advantage of the many opportunities available beyond the classroom.
“I have participated in the Visiting Chef dinners, attended professional demonstrations and met many people in the industry just from classroom experience,” she said. “The faculty has a wealth of talent and knowledge they are willing and able to share, but it is up to the student to reach out and use them to develop your career and better yourself.
“I really am surprised as well as impressed by College of DuPage and the quality of education I am receiving. I was uncertain about returning to school as an adult. I have found each class relevant and have experienced teachers who are talented and professional. The opportunities to grow and challenge yourself are always being offered. One would not have these opportunities available if not at COD. I am grateful for the experience and for the people I have met.”
2014 College of DuPage