"I was 19 when I started working at Massachusetts General Hospital. I was in college, going to school for finance full-time, and a close relative who worked at the hospital told me about an open position. It was a part-time weekend job, filling in for employees in Patient Food Services who had days off. I went in for two interviews and was hired. It was a good schedule for a student, and I learned a lot of the different jobs within Food Services because I covered for different roles.
Mass General is a great place to learn about kitchen operations – Nutrition and Food Services at the hospital is a huge operation. I found I really like cooking and food prep. Even though I was still a part-time employee, a couple of supervisors suggested I become ServSafe certified. It’s training from the National Restaurant Association that teaches you about food prep and safety, including proper food storage temperatures, sanitizing, food safety regulations, etc. I wanted to keep learning, so I signed up and took the classes at Mass General.
After six years in my part-time role, a couple of managers told me about a supervisor opening, and I went for it. I know the ServSafe certification helped me get the job because all managers in Food Services here need to have it. Because I already know everyone, it’s been a smooth transition. I’m now responsible for training people, ordering supplies, making sure everything is in order and running smoothly. On any given day, we are preparing meals for 500-600 patients, making sure that patients who have special diets get everything on their tray they are supposed to have.
I think the employees who do well at Mass General are people who own their work. I think the supervisors here look for those people and make sure they know about new opportunities. Working in Nutrition and Food Services has changed my plans for the future. Instead of a career in finance, my future goal is to pursue a culinary degree, and I’m hoping to start taking some classes in the next year."