G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   Apr 25

Virtual Job Fair   |   Apr 25

The Culinary Institute of America Success Profile – Amy Chichavich


Amy Chichavich ’15

The Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, NY
Program Type/Area of Study: Culinary Arts Management
Years Served: 4
MOS: Senior Airman

Tell us about yourself:

“The GI Bill made it possible to go to school. Coming to the CIA was a no- brainer. I chose it because it’s the best. I didn’t want to go half way.”

What prompted you to return to school?

After four years in the Air Force I was ready for a new challenge, and a culinary career seemed like a natural fit. Growing up, I always cooked with my mom and my grandmothers. Preparing food was a family activity. I’m first-generation American; my mother is from Scotland and my dad is from Mexico. Food plays a big part in both cultures. We have family traditions around food that really brought us together as a family.

What military education benefits, such as the GI Bill, did you use?

G.I. Bill; The GI Bill is covering 100% of my tuition and fees.

What has your experience been like as a student?

Coming to the CIA was a no-brainer. I chose it because it’s the best and I wanted to take advantage of the premier culinary education available in the world at a place that challenges you. My classmates share my passion and the chefs are esteemed professionals from around the world.

What challenges did you have adjusting to campus culture after military life?

The transition from military to civilian life involved some challenges. My husband and I were fully engrossed in the military lifestyle. Thankfully, the CIA has great advocacy and support for veterans. I’ve been welcomed with open arms. Part of the transition that was seamless was the change from one uniform to another. It’s really easy for me to come to school every day wearing a uniform correctly and with pride.

Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student?

If it wasn’t for the military, I wouldn’t have had this incredible opportunity. One thing about my military experience that has made me a better student is the discipline; showing up on time to class, completing my assignments, having self-control in the kitchen and acting professional at all times.

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

If cooking is your passion, take advantage of the GI Bill. Don’t go halfway on your education. If you want to be challenged and get the premier culinary education in the world, then the CIA is the best place to achieve your dream.

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