It takes those with a special X-factor to thrive
Students working for University Catering find unique opportunities to do something new each day
Muncie, Ind. — They wake up each day ready for new experiences. Their weekly routines are ever-changing. Embracing the hands-on experience, they network, plan events and serve customers. Logistics, hospitality, business management—each day offers a new opportunity. At Ball State, it’s called University Catering.
“There is no telling who you will meet at an event,” Carissa Schultz, Ball State senior majoring in business administration, said. “What I like about working for Catering is all the people I get to work with and all the potential connections I can make.”
Carissa is one of the many students working for Ball State University’s Catering department, where each day is a one-of-a-kind experience. The positions offered help students learn the mechanics of the catering industry—from basic set-up to fine dining events at a plethora of venues on- and off-campus.
Starting her work with the department at the beginning of her freshman year, Carissa is now a student crew leader. She expresses her interest in the creative aspect of her job, where she can set up a table or room with her own ideas to bring everything together. In addition, she and the other student employees gain valuable skills like flexibility, multitasking, time management, understanding and reading contracts and training other students.
“We’ve had students who have worked their way up from an entry-level position into management, which clearly demonstrates how we empower our students,” Amy Grasso, Assistant Director of University Catering, said.
There are a variety of jobs within Catering, from setting up buffets and serving, to behind-the-scenes work with preparing, portioning, plating, and dishwashing. One day students are setting up at a faculty event and the next, participating as part of the home team crowd in the suites at Scheumann Stadium. Many even assist in elegant evening dinner events for honorary speakers in Ball State President Geoffrey Mearn’s home!
“Our students are the heartbeat of this catering unit—whether in the kitchen or on the front line, the excitement and personality they bring to our staff is amazing,” Grasso said.
Catering positions are unique and at times can be sporadic, so it takes a special type of student who appreciates a challenge and can embrace the unexpected. Not just every student can thrive in University Catering, but for those individuals who like a different type of job opportunity, the possibilities abound.
“Anyone can work for University Catering—they just have to be willing to learn while on the job and work as a team,” Schultz said. “You need to be strong—not just physically, but mentally—and be able to think in situations where things do not always go as planned.”
For those Ball State students who have what it takes, it seems like they’re rising up to the challenge.
Does this sound like you? Students interested in joining the Ball State Catering team can contact Erica Jefferis, Assistant Director of Personnel and Administration in University Dining, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-285-1967. To expedite a potential employment opportunity, visit the Career Center in Lucina Hall 220 to fill out paperwork and pick up a referral for job #55, then visit University Dining’s hiring blitz event in the north side of the Atrium on Wednesday, September 5, between 4 and 7 p.m.
Ball State University Dining aims to enhance the campus experience by exhibiting excellence in the production and service of food that is nutritious, wholesome, attractive, delicious and of good value, thus meeting the needs of students, faculty, staff and guests. From small gatherings to full-blown galas, University Catering provides services to the Ball State community as well as the public. Discover more at bsu.edu/catering.