Hi IBCers

My name is Phyllis. I am from Indonesia. I came to the United States about 5 and a half years ago for my junior and senior years of high school. I moved from California to Chicago after I finished high school. I started my Culinary Arts degree at Illinois Institute of Art and finished it at Kendall College in June, 2009. I currently am going to school at Dominican University for a Bachelor’s in Food Science.

My primary vocation right now is a student. It seems to be very simple when studying is your only job, but it is frustrating to know that I am not able to work while completing my studies. It is due to my status as an international student that I am not eligible to work. It is illegal for me to work unless it is an on-campus job, which are limited to 20 hours a week and even that is nearly nonexistent and paid very low. What I meant by illegal is that I would be deported if I were caught working outside of school. This situation can be very frustrating when the field I study requires hands-on experience to excel.

Many people have come to me asking what it is like to go to school for cooking, what I study, and what I go to class for. The Food Network and all of the TV shows have made culinary school popular, but also give people a glorified understanding about the field. The culinary field is very stressful, time consuming, and very low paid. Only a passion for food and endurance can make anyone stay in this career. It is a fun thing to do for a living when one is passionate about it. It requires skill, planning, creativity, and the ability to multi-task. It is such a stressful career that I found kitchen life is not for me when I did my internship. This is why I decided that I wanted to study food science. With my culinary degree and a degree in food science, I will have a much broader career path to travel.

Throughout my recent, and all of my life decisions, God has kept on reminding me to prioritize and to be humble. I often find that I have put my academic career first and put God second. God reminds me through my successes and failures that I am helpless without Him. I struggle to trust in Him through my vocation. I sometimes rely on my own strength to resolve my problems. I get frustrated when things do not go my way and try to do it all by myself. I get too caught up with school work that I often forget about God; I become distant from Him. Then, when I cannot do it, God reminds me that He is my strength and I could never do anything truly on my own.

I also struggle to share the gospel with my fellow students. Most of my friends are not believers. I sometimes get discouraged when I am with them. I often do not use the opportunity that I have when I hang out with them to tell them about Jesus. I would rather be in my room and stay in my own bubble.

I have learned through my struggles that God is my strength and I am nothing without Him. It is also through my struggles in my vocation that I can share with my sister and we can keep reminding each other about God. It is also become a tangible example for my family, who are mostly non-believers, how is it like to be in Christ.

That is it about me. I can talk about my roles in my family and other things, but that can get too long. Contact me if you have any questions about my school, family, or any other things, or if you just want to chat. Email: ddphyllis

God Bless,

Phyllis =)