Nicole’s previous job in health care as a clinical lab technician in a microlab facilitated her being able to join The French Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago. She enjoyed the work, but her company was forced to downsize. Nicole always baked in her free time, and decided January of 2009 was the time to go for something new and pursue her interest more seriously in L’Art de la Pâtisserie.
She loved her class and made new friends. Nicole "got to have fun for six hours every day" while continually discovering what she was capable of making, like wedding cakes which previously seemed like great, mysterious works of art to her. The course unraveled the recipes and techniques that had seemed incredible. Her friends were equally impressed with what she accomplished. "They can’t believe a student can make that!"
Her experience at The French Pastry School helped Nicole believe in herself – from first applying to the school as a career changer to being accepted and receiving the scholarship. She had to practice "not letting doubt get in [her] way" and found new confidence through her education.
Nicole’s openness to the many possibilities that awaited her following graduation allowed her to look at several different choices, knowing that the more experience she gained, the further she would progress toward her ultimate goals in pastry. She dreams about one day opening her own unique business, like a restaurant with high-quality appetizers and desserts.
Nicole "[gets] to have fun for six hours every day" while continually discovering what she's capable of making.
Nicole feels that she received a great foundation and a well-rounded education. "They teach you about the real world too, like cost, production and business." She’s grateful that the chefs encouraged her to explore other things and be independent, to look into other sources and new ideas, and to pursue her goals. "It may seem hard in the process," but Nicole graduated the program feeling much more capable and equipped to follow her dreams.
After graduating, Nicole completed an internship at Le Flour Bakery, which is owned by fellow alumna, Nicole Bujewski. Nicole continues to work at Le Four part time.