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An Interview with Jim Pacini

What were your career plans prior to starting IOT?

I went to culinary school because I wanted to add a degree to my skill set as well as refine my cooking and technique.

What interested you about IOT?

It was close to my home and it offered a night program.

What was your experience like at IOT?

I loved attending IOT. The hours were tough; I worked full time in an industrial job and ran my catering business on the weekends. I was very busy, made sacrifices, and pushed myself to be the best I could for me.

Any standout classes or experiences you’d like to share?

I enjoyed all of my classes but especially the culinary artistry and competition. I often share a story about plated desserts though; I told the instructor “I don’t write on plates. If I need that done, I’ll hire someone.” At my extern site (my site hired me) irony hit hard: I was responsible for writing on dessert plates for service. I was the person they hired to do that!

How has your career trajectory been after graduation?

By attending IOT, graduating, and applying the skills learned and continuing to learn and grow, I was able to return as an instructor and am now the Assistant Culinary Division Director.

What is it like being an instructor for IOT?

I enjoy seeing students grow as culinarians, passing on my craft to the next generation. I am thankful for students that stay in touch and share what they are doing in the culinary world. My biggest hope is to encourage our students to be better for themselves so they can be better for their families and loved ones, not just better cooks.

What would you say to someone considering IOT?

Your education starts with what you do for yourself and the commitment you make to improving all aspects of your life. If you are looking for an opportunity to change careers, we are here to help. We will do all we can to help you complete your education while helping you develop the skills needed for the workforce.