UNLV Epicurean Society
Summer has finally almost come to an end. Of course in Vegas, summer technically doesn’t end till around September or November. But the weather is not what this magazine is about, right? As promised, this month’s issue will feature another member of the Epicurean Society hard at work on their internship. Today I will be introducing Catia Villanueva, an Epicurean member who is doing her internship at Jason’s Deli.
Now if you don’t know who or what Jason’s Deli is, you are missing out. Jason’s Deli is a restaurant group that is both family-owned and community focused. Jason’s Deli serves guests at 266 delis in 28 states. A lot of thought goes into what they put in their food, and what they take out of it. They were actually one of the first restaurant groups to remove artificial transfats from their food. Some examples of things they have eliminated are processed MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, dyes, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Their main quote on this is: “If we wouldn’t serve it to our families, we’re not going to serve it to yours.”
Out of the many locations of Jason’s Deli, Catia was sent to their location in Bedford, Texas. The internship officially began on June 5 and will end on August 10. Since the company had scheduled an orientation for interns, Catia had to be there by June 2. The internship is especially important because it’s actually a manager in training internship; this means that after this internship is completed, the company can extend a job offer to Catia. Soon after graduation, she will be able to begin a salaried position with the company.
“This internship is centered within the restaurant,” she mentioned. “I’ve learned more about preparation and how procrastination does not fly in a restaurant. This internship has kept me on my toes, and I will never walk into a boring day. Every day is a learning experience. I will always have something to learn. I’ve learned more about time management as we have only a few hours to have all items prepped to use for the day. We use a lot of product that is only good for a day so we have to have accurate estimates to ensure that not too much product is thrown away. I’ve learned how to properly check in food orders.”
The company also goes as far as to give interns weekly assignments and tests, but really it’s to the benefit of the interns. “They actually help us better understand what is happening in the restaurant and what to expect,” said Catia. It seems like something reasonable to do. Not only that, but it really shows how the company aims to have interns really take in the information learned and prepare them for when they begin to work for the company.
UNLV students typically learn about internships through two ways: 1 through recommendation by the advisors at the Bob Boughner Center or 2 through career fairs and mixers. “The Bob Boughner Center recommended this internship to me, and as I did more research and met with Jason’s Deli the more knowledgeable and excited I became,” said Catia. “I was recruited by the HR Director, who visited the UNLV campus for a mixer event. We communicated back and forth for a couple months, and soon enough I was in touch with a district trainer who coordinated my internship, and planned my summer in Texas.”
Fortunately, the selection process was not difficult. One other UNLV student is currently doing the internship as well except in a different location. But why Jason’s Deli? Catia explained, “They are very organized, and every day during the internship is planned out, and there is always someone that will guide you. You will never be left alone, lost or confused compared to other places that ignore the new people. They were very encouraging and helpful, and provided all the information I needed in a very timely manner.” It sounds like she found the perfect company for her.
Like in any internship, there’s always something everyone is looking forward to. In this case, Catia has a lot in mind. “I look forward to managing my own shifts, and becoming more comfortable with a high volume restaurant,” she said. “I want to be more knowledgeable and be a reliable source of information to all workers and want to help everyone reach their full potential.” Like the great person I know her to be, it’s hardly a surprise that her main focus is to help others.
Now remains the question that must be answered: Why should someone consider this internship themselves? Well, Catia can definitely answer that question for you. “I would definitely recommend this internship to other people. While being on my own I have grown more independent, and it has helped me grow. I have also learned so much in the kitchen and there is always something that can be learned and it never gets boring. The company is very welcoming of new people, and they do their best to help you grow,” Catia pointed out. “This is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, they are very friendly people, and if you like working for a well-organized company this is the place to do it. You learn so much, including how to cut all kinds of meats, and how to follow recipes and develop delicious foods.” Sound like a company you’d be interested in? Hopefully, it is. Who knew even managers in training had to learn how to cut meat.
I can’t thank Catia Villanueva enough for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions and gain more insight into her internship. Next issue I will introduce one more member who is also spending their summer at an internship with a different company. After that, the Epicurean Society will be up and running for the fall semester at UNLV. Be sure to stay tuned for the exciting events and projects Epicurean members will be holding.