Student Spotlight: Kelli Jones
Major: Culinary & Hospitality
Kelli Jones is experiencing a number of "firsts" as a student in College of DuPage's Culinary & Hospitality Management program.
She first became interested in the industry after hearing about the College's program and its excellent reputation.
"After I toured the campus and met with the staff and professors, I felt their industry experience and knowledge would be a great advantage to my education," she said.
Jones began attending COD in 2010, and one year later she was among the first students to study in the new Culinary & Hospitality Center. It's a dynamic state-of-the-art facility that, in addition to classrooms and kitchens, allows students to run the Wheat Cafe and intern at the Inn at Water's Edge, a working six-room boutique hotel that's open to the public.
"What I love about the program is the hands-on experience," she said. "I am physically doing tasks that once I'm working in the industry I'll be doing every day. Four-year schools don't have facilities like this."
Her goal is to transfer and earn a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. As luck would have it, she's now among the first students to take advantage of College of DuPage's new 3+1 agreement with Roosevelt University. This will allow Jones and her fellow students to take their fourth year of classes through Roosevelt, taught by Roosevelt faculty but at COD's Culinary & Hospitality Center, all at a reduced tuition rate.
If that wasn't enough, Jones helped to organize the College's Hospitality Club and is one of its first presidents.
"I have a sense of pride to say that I'm in this culinary program," she said. "My experience at College of DuPage has empowered me to feel well-prepared to enter the work force. I know I can succeed at obtaining a long and promising career in the hospitality industry."
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