Outstanding Students

Olivia Williams

Q: Where are you from? (city, state) 

A: Manchester, Iowa 

Q: Why did you choose Kirkwood? 

A: I chose Kirkwood because it was close to hone and had a nationally renowned culinary program and facility. 

Q: What is your major and how did you choose it? 

A: My current major is Baking and Pastry Arts, and I have gone through the Culinary Arts program as well. I chose these two because I love food, and I have wanted to open a bakery someday down the road. I wanted to learn all of the sides of food, and I hope that my career path with take me in all sorts of directions throughout my lifetime. 

Q: What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood?  

A: My proudest moment was successfully completing the culinary capstone test in the culinary arts program. The test basically wraps up the entire two years of the program, and it is challenging and very nerve-wracking. I was very proud of what I accomplished after that day. 

Q: What are your plans after Kirkwood? 

A: I intend on looking for an industry job in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. I want to try to get into a restaurant with cool food and a great atmosphere while I build my cake decorating portfolio at home. I love making cakes, and I would love to make cakes for people as a personal little business. 

Q: What inspires or motivates you? 

A: What motivates me most is seeing the enjoyment in others when I give them something I have made. I love preparing a big spread of food for people, setting the energy of the atmosphere, and seeing them enjoy it. I would be my happiest tending a spit roast over an open pit fire surrounded by friends and family who keep talking about how they “can hardly wait for the food to be done cooking!” I get most of my inspiration from nature. I like food that emphasizes the simplicity of its ingredients. I also love creating cakes that are designed from elements in the natural world. 

Q: Tell us about who you are outside of Kirkwood – hobbies, family, other interests, etc. 

A: I love hiking with my boyfriend and exploring new places. I especially love trying new foods in places I’ve never been to before! I like trying out new recipes and experimenting. Cooking and baking are my biggest hobbies. I am a collector of all kinds of plants. I like artsy crafts like painting, designing flower pots and home decor, and upcycling clothing. 

Q: What does be named an Outstanding Student mean to you? 

A: It is an honor to be named an Outstanding Student! To me, it means that I have accomplished the most that I could have done in my year in the Baking and Pastry Arts program. 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

A: I had a difficult time finishing my education here. My father passed away during the middle of my run in the Culinary program, and it was difficult for me to continue through my classes. I decided that I was going to finish both programs for his sake, and receiving the Outstanding Student recognition now means all that much more to me.  

Categories: Outstanding Students