Nelson Beam started working in the Bake Shop and Vegetable Prep his sophomore year when a family friend and upperclassmen helped Beam find on-campus job opportunities.
Beam had no prior experience in food service, but he said he thought that he may enjoy his work and wanted to give it a try. Now, Beam has realized the impact this position has had on his time as a student.
“When I am cutting vegetables or putting cookies on a sheet, the repetition gives me time to let my mind process my day, think about what I need to do and plan ahead,” Beam said.
Beam is a senior commercial photography student, and his time is split between class, work and 3 to 6 hours of studio time. His dream is to own his own video business, and while this is not directly related to Food Services, Beam said his experience has taught him lessons he will carry into his career.
“I feel like I am a good worker, and will complete assigned task while asking questions as needed,” Beam said. “Working in veggie prep and the Bake Shop requires planning ahead and constantly working to meet changing demands.”
Pastry Chef Charlotte Beckner said that Beam is an invaluable part of the team.
“He's one of my hardest workers, no matter what I need him to do,” Beckner said. “I can put him on a task and I know he'll get it done. He's also great at leading the other students to make sure they stay on task and get the work done in the appropriate amount of time. I'll definitely miss him when he graduates.”
Vegetable Prep handles all produce for Food Services units. Vegetable Prep employees process approximately 32,000 cases of fresh vegetables and fruits per year. The Bake Shop produces all baked goods for Food Services including scratch-made biscuits, doughnuts, sandwich rolls, cakes, pies, cookies and assorted pastries.
Food Services is the largest employer of students on campus, and works with students to find a schedule that blends well with their academic and extracurricular activities. Students interested in working at Food Services should make an appointment with the Food Services Student Coordinator’s office.