Meet our Closing the Gap guest speaker for July 2022, Audrey Anderson!
This month on Closing the Gap, we have Audrey Anderson. Audrey (she/her) is a culinary arts instructor at Linn-Benton Community College, a business owner, an EMS first responder, as well as a firefighter trainee. Join us as we discuss Audrey’s expertise in time management and pursuing multiple careers!
Q: Please describe your educational/training background
15 years of experience in event management, culinary arts, and the food industry, two AAS, one in culinary arts and one in baking & pastry arts, and local small business owner since 2013, specializing in private event services and catering.
Q: Please describe where you work & your occupation
I work for Linn Benton Community College as full-time faculty for the culinary arts department.
Q: Career-wise, what have been your proudest moments/highlights/accomplishments so far?
Looking back, managing my first restaurant was a huge highlight of my career, I was young and didn’t see the full potential and opportunity there, but it was a huge learning experience that has benefited me throughout my career since then.
Q: What are some of your future goals or things you would like to accomplish?
I would like to get ACF certified, get the culinary arts department into ACF accreditation, grow my business for sure, and just learn and explore more about what my field has to offer.
Q: What have been some of your biggest career challenges?
Definitely, my age, a lot of people particularly in management will look at a younger person at face value and discredit their skills and experience without giving the opportunity to display those skills or plea the case for their experience. I’m 27, and have already accomplished a successful 15 years in my career and landed a job that most people hope to retire in, for me that’s like, I can push myself, and then what’s next? We have more work to do and more goals to accomplish.
Q: Many young women might not be aware of the career available in STEM fields. What do you think can be done to spread the word to women about career options in these fields?
Just talking about it, I was working in the industry for years and didn’t really know that I could make something more out of it until someone asked me, are you planning on going to culinary school? I had never seriously considered it, I was planning on going to school for nursing because that was like the thing to do, but I loved cooking and wanted to follow that path and everyone said, you won’t make money, you’ll be a starving artist. Until I started putting myself out there and seeking the information, I never even knew what was possible. Make that information more available.
Q: Do you have any advice for women who are looking to follow a similar career path?
Go for it, ask questions, seek information, and hold fast. It’s a demanding career but totally worth it.
Q: What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I am a volunteer ems responder and training to be a firefighter, so that eats up a lot of my spare time, other than that, just spend time with my family and we like to go fishing, camping, and all of the outdoorsy stuff.