"It's Only the Beginning" by Kristin Kotis

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            My name is Kristin Kotis and, happily, I am one of the newest interns here at Charlie Baggs Inc. I grew up in a northwestern suburb of Chicago, and lived in both Freeport and Rockford before becoming a Chicagoan.  Growing up, I have always been very athletic and motivated, and I played softball competitively for about 10 years.  I have always been told by my parents to do what makes me happy.  I am very close with my entire family which consists of my parents Jan and Andy, an older sister Jessica and an older brother Tom.  Yes, I am the baby of the family who will turn twenty on my next birthday. The four of them have helped me into the person I am today.  I am a very family-oriented and responsible person which I believe makes me a good fit for here at CBI.
            Around my junior year of high school, that big question got asked, “Where do you want to go to college?”  I never had a reply and it was getting very frustrating.  My mom sat me down one night and asked me if I have thought of something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.  I had no response; I was nervous, scared, and anxious to find out what I wanted to do with my life after high school. My mom suggested possibly going to culinary school. I had never really thought about that as a career. I have always loved cooking. I grew up cooking with my mother and grandmother with a Russian and Polish background, along with my grandmother on my dad’s side with a Greek heritage. I was never very confident about things growing up except two things cooking and playing softball. After my mom suggested culinary school, I remember thinking to that I knew cooking is what I love to do and can’t see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.
            The search began for the most perfect culinary school for me. My mom and I visited three or four different schools until I found “the one.” I chose to go to Kendall College here in Chicago and can’t believe the impact this decision has had on my life. I have learned so many things that I cannot imagine having gone anywhere else. The structure of the school really helped me to be motivated to find the right place to do my internship which led me to being an intern here at CBI.
            Charlie Baggs Inc. is unlike any other place. Multiple things go on here each day which I feel beyond fortunate to be able to be part of. I learn so many new things every single day. The staff is so welcoming and friendly that I cannot imagine myself doing my internship anywhere else.  I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, and this is no exception. Here at CBI, everyone really takes the time and effort to make sure that I am learning something new and actually understand the reasoning of why they want something done a certain way. I feel as if every single person here genuinely cares about each other and are happy to help everyone else out. Not only am I learning more things about cooking, but recently I have been given the opportunity to work in the research and development area of CBI for major companies, including writing different concept ideas.  This has far exceeded my expectations of what I thought a typical internship would be. I have learned more things about the culinary field in the past two weeks than I feel like I have in a whole year of classroom culinary experience. I am so excited to begin my journey here at CBI and cannot wait to see where this amazing opportunity leads me to.

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