David Siegel ‘02
Hometown: Stamford, CT
Current Location: Brooklyn, NY
Why did you choose SHA?
Early on I knew that I wanted my career path to be connected with cooking and food, but I wasn’t exactly sure how. I transferred to Boston University and SHA after my freshman year of college because it presented an opportunity to explore myriad paths related to the things I love. With my first year of college being marked by uncertainty, I immediately knew when I arrived at SHA that I had made a positive and important change.
What are some of your favorite BU memories?
In addition to learning marketing, accounting and other important aspects of business and hospitality, SHA has some excellent courses in what I consider less tangible but equally important skills. I took a strategic leadership class with Professor Oshins, which really explored managing a team from a perspective that books cannot capture. We did all sorts of team building exercises, but mainly we talked and listened to one another. I can’t think of any other singular part of my education that I have called on more from day to day in my career since then.
What was your first full-time job? How did you end up in your current position?
After graduating, I went to work for a small restaurant chain in the Boston area as a kitchen manager. After a couple of years I decided to move to Portland Oregon where I immersed myself in the local restaurant scene. I worked for some well-seasoned chefs and started my own pop-up supper club. Within three years, I was executive chef of a new restaurant. A few years later, the urge to be closer to home was too strong to ignore, so I set out to move back east, but not before spending nearly a year traveling through Asia and Europe. I have been living in Brooklyn, NY for two years now. My new focus is teaching culinary classes.
Please describe your current role. How did your SHA education impact your career?
Currently I am transitioning out of the restaurant kitchen. In addition to teaching classes privately and with local culinary outfits, I do personal chef work and have been exploring all sorts of opportunities for people with my skill-set. From the outset, SHA made it clear to me that there are many roles to play in the hospitality industry. I really value the broad based education I received and continued networking connections I have as a result of choosing SHA over more narrowly focused education.
Any advice for current and prospective students?
If you find yourself wanting more, don’t be afraid to switch things up! I love cooking, but after ten years in restaurants I found myself searching for new horizons. Because of SHA, I’m pretty confident I can find them.