Student Stories: Juan Gallegos

Juan Gallegos

Major: Culinary Arts

Juan Gallegos enjoyed the culinary classes he took in high school.

During his junior year, he decided to attend College of DuPage to study culinary arts.

“COD was my top choice mostly due to costs and being close to home,” he said. “I also enjoyed touring the Culinary & Hospitality Center and getting firsthand experience on what classes would be like.”

COD Dual Credit Program

In order to get a head start on his college education, he enrolled in two dual credit courses during his senior year—Culinary Arts III, which offered two credits, and Accounting II, which offered four credits.

“Having the six credits available allowed me to get a head start in my program, save costs as well as save a semester of classes,” he said. “My culinary arts dual credit class also counted as a prerequisite for other courses, allowing me to enroll in those classes as soon as possible, saving me time.” 

Earning his Associate in Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts, Gallegos worked as a supervisor at Urbanbelly in Chicago and is now at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in the West Loop. His ultimate goal is to be in an upper management position running a restaurant.

He advises students in high school to take advantage of dual credit courses as well as students interested in culinary arts to attend COD.

“Dual credit classes are not too difficult and they help prepare you so you know what to expect in college,” he said. “It will also save on time and money, and taking these courses in high school will give you a head start on your program and/or degree. 

“My advice to anyone who joins the Culinary Arts program at COD is to not be afraid to ask questions, as the instructors and your peers have great knowledge to share. COD helped me gain firsthand experience on how restaurants work and what to expect in real-world situations.”

Learn more about the Culinary Arts program at College of DuPage