IUP freshman Damion Hartle recently returned to A.W. Beattie Career Center to present to students how the Culinary Arts program prepared him for college.
“Looking back on Beattie, I’d say the attention to detail really helped my progression over to IUP,” Hartle said. “In college, attention to detail is everything. It’s a main grading point. Beattie was also helpful in terms of getting comfortable and confident in the kitchen, learning all types of conversions, equipment and ingredients. That all carried over into IUP.”
Hartle, a 2019 North Allegheny graduate, called IUP’s Culinary program a “challenge” in every way. Running a restaurant open to the public, he said, was an ideal foundation for excelling in college.
“Damion gave a great student perspective of what life at IUP is like and what students can anticipate for their college education,” A.W. Beattie Chef Aaron Yurek said. “It’s great, because he was a student here who really did well in our program. I think he really gave insight into what it takes to be successful.”
Hartle contacted Chef A to set-up the presentation, which will be included in his professional portfolio. About 40 Culinary Arts students chose to see his presentation.
“It was great to share with them the great opportunities I received through Beattie and how it brought me to IUP,” Hartle said. “It was a fun way to also share the opportunities at IUP and how great IUP is. I think the externship is one of the best things they offer, so I’ll go to North Carolina for that. IUP also has executive chefs who have worked in many businesses and are always willing to share their advice and experiences.”
The executive chefs, Hartle said, expect precision in your uniforms, homework, recipes and cooking.
“They don’t wait,” Hartle said. “They push you right away to do your best, and they expect you to keep up. You have to adapt quickly, take notes and it’s not a hold-your-hand process. They expect you to be adults, to be professional and you have to act like it.”
Chef A said it was rewarding to have a Beattie alum come back for a day.
“Damion can do whatever he puts his mind to and strives to do, so it’s very exciting to have him with us again,” Chef A said. “It’s always great when graduates come back to share their success stories with us.”