ICE’s biannual Career Fair and Networking Reception was yesterday afternoon. A part of ICE’s extensive Career Services, the event was a chance for all ICE students and alumni to speak to businesses and potential employers about job opportunities. ICE hosted representatives from over 20 restaurants, caterers, foodservice companies, hotels and other food businesses who were here to meet potential hires and future chefs and managers of tomorrow. I was struck by how many ICE alumni (probably one third of the exhibitors) made it back to be a part of the recruiting teams. When students are able to see that the person they’re chatting with was an ICE student not so long ago, it really gives them a sense that such success is attainable for them as well.

The event, which took over the sixth floor, was a veritable marketplace for those looking for entry-level positions and externships out there in the field, as well as a hub of hiring activity for seasoned alumni looking for new opportunities. Some of the most respected names in New York’s food world were on hand to meet job seekers and explain more about their companies and what they look for in candidates. Big national and international restaurant and hospitality groups, such as The Dinex Group, Union Square Hospitality Group, Club Med and Hillstone, recruited alongside catering companies and contract food service firms like Abigail Kirsch, FLIK, and Restaurant Associates.

Naturally, lots of networking took place as well. Old classmates who hadn’t seen each other in years were suddenly back in touch, including Eric Perlmutter (Culinary ‘04/Management ‘04), partner in the new E & E Grill opening shortly in the Pearl Hotel and Sina Clark (Pastry ‘03/Management ‘04), VP of Operations for Magnolia Bakery. The two reminisced about their time with Culinary Management Instructor Richard Vayda and the expert guest lecturers that came into their class. If they only knew then, that they’d soon be the experts we’d be bringing back in!

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