On the Audio : Ms. Koby Parcell-Cruz (owner of the Chocolate Fire).
"I came to the Philippines when I was 3yrs old. I was born in Sydney Australia and I've grown up going back and forth between both countries. As I state in the speech, I grew up in the food industry. I completed my degree however at the University of New South Wales, in Media & Communication majoring in International Political Relations. Whilst not always related, I still used so much of my degree for business, such as all the online social marketing which I created for Chocolate Fire. Our fb page for instance holds over 28,000 followers.
Never underestimate the wonderful achievement you have all made, as my father always reminds me - knowledge/skills, are our greatest gift for it can never be taken from us.
Businesses come & go, jobs come & go but our skills & the knowledge you have all obtained thru Anihan for example, stays with us forever. And as you get ready to embark on your careers & apply these skills to the actual workforce, I hope you look back at your education as I do, with fondness & pride for the certificates & diplomas handed to you today.
I personally have grown up in the food industry, my parents had cafes & at one point even a fresh fruit & vegetable supply company in Australia thru my childhood. I find it a wonderful industry of providing people with one of life's greatest joys - eating. As I got older I came to understand the dynamics that goes behind serving food & the actual business side of it all & I do simply love it. And most especially for the creativity that you can delve into within all aspects of the industry. From food production to actual specialty concepts. You could even be creative with the book keeping & manage to find new & innovative ways to improve & simplify your work. Creativity is not only limited to cooking & design.
For how brilliant an industry it is, we cannot ignore however that it is also a very tough industry. From the competitiveness of great servers, exceptional chefs, long hours, physical work, to brilliant cafe/resto styles that already exist & the basic realty that you need to stand out from a huge sea of talent that can be found within this industry.
This is why, it is so important, as you take this huge leap into your careers that you always maintain your professionalism. If there is one piece of advise that I can offer which I've found so valuable, it is to maintain professionalism at all times. Always be on time for your shifts, make hygiene a constant priority, work efficiently, always speak truthfully, be courteous & work hard. Coming from a family whose always been in the food industry, we are the first to say, if its our job to clean the toilets, we will clean those toilets to absolute perfection. Have pride in your tasks, regardless of how menial they may seem at the time. Don't take short cuts if the end product will be jeopardised! Professionalism professionalism professionalism
Always remember, we work our way up thru the food industry... I began my first job at the hottest cafe in Main Beach, Gold Coast when I was 16yrs old & my position was dishwasher. Admittedly they had an actual dishwashing machine, so my role was to clear tables, clear dishes, stack the washer & clean the back kitchen & it was hard work. Hours were long, the cafe was always busy & we worked with speed. It was exhausting! I will never forget walking home after my first day & thinking my body & feet would never recover. But I had the most wonderful satisfaction in knowing that I did my role really well, applied myself everywhere that my employer needed me & soon I was taking orders & learning to be a waitress.
It's all about hard work, doing your best, being honest, courteous, efficient & finding passion for this fabulous industry we are all a part of. I knew even then at 16 that I wanted to have my own business one day & be running an actual cafe... There are baby steps to get there & sometimes frustrating & sometimes they can take time, but never give up! As you all never gave up to finish your course here at Anihan, carry that determination with you always! I have worked with several of the students & graduates of Anihan & I am always so impressed by the base skills & courtesies you all demonstrate. Be proud ladies! You've been equipped with wonderful skills & values, yours forever now & from this you can only grow onwards & upwards.
Your passion & commitment will always shine thru to an employer. Be willing to learn & absorb, for there will be times when you may be asked to take on a role or task which you are not familiar with & rather then turn that opportunity away, be open to forever learning. Employers find much respect for those who are willing to take on something unknown & learn how to do it to perfection. You might be surprised as well & find a whole new passion.
I wish you ladies the very best & am so honoured to be invited here to speak with you today. I hope I was able to provide you some points which you'll find of value in the coming months and yr. Good luck in your new jobs & to those still looking for full time placements, stay positive & confidant. The right opportunity often appears when we least expect it. I hope to meet some of you personally in my future businesses."