My Academic Career to Career

It’s the money…

Hesitant.  I am totally hesitant.  I know I can do it.  Especially with my Spring financial aid however can I wait before I pay the deposit.  I know I have to do it prior to my application for my scholarship which is in March.  

Just do it…just do it…..just do it…..

A Description of My class…and Beginning Italian as well….









SECTION: 104                                                                                                                  Summer 2013


3 semester credits (45 lecture hours)

THU. 12:00-2:30pm.


Teacher availability: Please schedule an appointment before or after class.



This course is targeted towards students with an interest in Italian food traditions, society, and culture.  The main focus consists of what is generally defined as “made in Italy” culture and style in post-war Italy. Also covered are the relationships between Italian traditions, folklore and contemporary Italian society drawing from examples including festivals, food, tourism and economy, and the influence of foreign civilizations. Students will be asked to regard the subject of food outside of the context of ingredients and the procedures used to create a dish; we will instead examine a large scale context in which food is either featured as a main component or an integral element in cultural situations. Thus the student is asked first and foremost to observe the presented material across an anthropologic lens that roves over the entire Italian peninsula.


The course is divided into three main sections:

Food in History. Origin and evolution of Italian cuisine from the Renaissance to the Contemporary cuisine.

Italian regions: main characteristics (food, local traditions, geography, economy) of Northern, central and Southern regions.

History of local specialty products.


Lectures will be complemented by students cooking labs and tastings.



I wake up in the middle of the night.  I feel like I am still planning, still learning, and still hoping I make it abroad along with raising the money to complete the process.  

I did actually look on USF Education Abroad page and looked at the various programs that are currently being offered.  I thought about changing my program from Italy to London & Paris.  I did leave in England once before already however I only went to London one out of the whole two years that I lived there.  I am not sure why I didn’t expand outside my comfort zone but at that point in my life I think I was working on establishing relationships with people that would withstand a long distance. 

Now I have ANOTHER opportunity to travel through Europe, and rather cheaply at that.  The various programs that are currently being offered have a limited scope with art and history being a main focus.  Rightly so, however, I am working on expanding my knowledge of a european work environment.  I actually even thought to see if I could work at one of the hotels in FLorence just for the weekends since I would have the free time and then get European training in a hospitality environment.  I know this will come together.  I must keep reassuring myself that the progress I have toward my goal shall not be something that I pass off with a swat of a fly but embrace the opportunity with a vice-like grip as to not let it slip through my fingers.  



I find myself with 15 minutes before work starting and have to take note that I have never been more excited about a personal project than this one.  I understand the implications that it can have, even if none at all.  One of the stumbles that I think I am going to come across is the fact that I only work 3 hours a day.  Mind you this is usually for only 3 days a week.  With this rate, I will have this trip payed off by Summer 2014.  Maybe they can select certain classes that they will be able to hold over till then.  #sidebarproblems

I started this blog with full-intention of making it purely professional however I have embarked on a process that has started to intimidate me.  I have started a process to study abroad for 5-weeks this summer.  I feel as though I need to keep a record of this process to allow others to conquer their fear of this unknown.  Mind you , I have lived in Europe before however then, I was with the United States Air Force and stationed at RAF Upper Heyford, United Kingdom.  I visited London, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, and various other places around England but never made it outside the United Kingdom.  I can make up for that lost time and also have it apply academically to my degree plan.  Win/WIn!

My goal is lofty and in order to accomplish this, I have taken a job on-campus fundraising for the University of South Florida.  Unfortunately they only have 3-hour shifts per day and at a huge rate of $10, it shall be a long process of saving but I know that it is possible.  I can not let that discourage me.  

The Numbers:

I will do everything I can to get this trip paid for.  I figure it will be about $8000 grand with tuition being 62% of my budget, 23% for airfare, 2% for passport, leaving the remaining 13% for my food and personal expense while there.  I am currently working out the amount of hours I will need to work in order to be able to pay my current semester bills as well as next springs bills while saving to pay off my summer abroad program.  I can tell it shall be a challenge however if I can plan this correctly and stick with those goals, I can make it happen.  I know I can.  

The Reason:

One of the reasons has to be the fact that the Air Force took up so much of my time that I did not get to see Europe through an academics eyes but more through the eyes of an 18 year-old kid that had never been away from home and looked for anyone to connect with.

As I have grown older, my dependency for the affection has regulated to a normal level while allowing me to explore outside my immediate environment.  Working on such a minimal budget allows me to explore items from public transportation (that I currently utilize to get to school and back if the favor of friends is not available), avenues of extra income (extra hours?), as well as the process of how all this takes place.


I tend to have an ability to have to work in “cram” sessions due to my class, work, and personal time constraints but will do everything I can to be thorough with explaining the process.  My goal will be a rewarding one however work calls and I have to get ready.   


The Ethic of Reciprocity…

There is an award run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology called the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.  This award is bestowed upon companies within the United States for innovation and performance.  Are awards like this what it takes to have achieved excellence in service?  How do you know when the level of customer service you are receiving is adequate?  Service should not be noticed for it is the subtle nuances of knowing what the person wants before they do.  

"Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you".  In order for service to take place, respect of each other must also be maintained. Having employees treat each other as they would a client, leads to a higher level of professionalism through out the company.

How do we do this with total strangers?  Empowering your employees to be able to have a one and done attitude shall lead you in step one to service excellence.  This allows for an employee to take control of a situation and resolve it to the best of the ability that the company has allowed for.  

For example, the Ritz Carlton empowers each of its employees with the ability to spend up to $2,000 per guest per day.  This empowerment gives the ability the full ability to make sure that the customer is satisfied but they are secure in the fact that to return to Ritz-Carlton would mean to return to a place that if anything is needed, there is always someone there to help you accomplish it.  

Service has a price, but it’s more expensive to lose a customer and have to obtain a new one.  Keep your customers coming back to you by anticipating their needs, keeping those needs fulfilled, and wanting more.