Major: Music Industry
Hometown: Dublin, CA
Program Position: Lead Student, AS Catering
Ashton has always been interested in food and cooking. “I cooked alongside my mom as a kid.” He continued to grow that passion in high school by working in a four star restaurant. As a freshman, he came to the AS Catering office one day with a friend who was looking for a job. He started chatting “food lingo” with the staff. He clearly knew what he was talking about and had the experience to back it up, so he was hired and has been with AS Catering for three years.
Ashton assists with food preparation, delivery, set-up, and serving for events of all types and sizes across campus. He works anything from a small five or ten person meeting to a large reception for 400-500 guests. Ashton enjoys working side by side with the chefs in preparing hot food for all occasions. Because he’s a veteran, he now trains other students and typically is supervising about four students at a time. Time management and setting priorities are critical components of his job. “We’re managing hundreds of contracts for events. It’s a lot to coordinate. You’ve really got to watch the clock and pay attention to details when you’re handling that many events at once.” There is pressure and hard work involved but Ashton also gets to exercise his fun and creative side in the job. He loves to set up events including decorations and centerpieces. “Catering is all about presentation. My boss, Don, encourages me to be creative and is always supportive of my ideas.” Another critical component of Ashton’s job is customer service. “I’ve learned how to talk with customers to get them to return.”
Ashton recognizes what a great networking experience his job provides. “You never know what you’re getting yourself into with any situation. People need to be aware that putting yourself out there no matter what, can change your life.” Ashton is a prime example of that. It’s not an exaggeration to say that his job in AS Catering completely changed his collegiate path. Ashton has been passionate about music all his life. He plays the piano and drums and spends much of his free time making electronic music on his computer. While working a catered event, Ashton struck up a conversation with the head of the music department and discovered that changing his major to Music Industry was a viable option for him. Along the way he also did a stint with KCSC as a DJ. He had a weekly two hour show that highlighted the newest music received in the studio. He hopes to parlay his passion into a career making music for a video game company.
In Ashton’s words:
My supervisors are great! They encourage you to try new things and they always recognize you for doing a good job. They really respect you. That kind of support and encouragement is very motivational.