Shruti was a doctor in her home country of India. But when she immigrated to New York City in 2018, she found it impossible to secure a job in the medical industry—or any industry for that matter—given the unfamiliar hiring landscape here. She spent years searching for new opportunities and even considered returning to school, but tuition is expensive, and she had already paid heavily for an education in India.
She struggled to find community, too. “Over several years, I had lost all of my confidence,” Shruti said. “For women who come from outside of the U.S., it’s really hard to find a job because we don’t know how to get inside of an industry.”
For Shruti, the COVID-19 pandemic was an opportunity for her to reflect on the career path she wanted to pursue in the United States. “I was doing a lot of cooking, and during that time I just realized that I wanted to be in the food industry,” Shruti shared. One of her friends suggested that she check out Hot Bread Kitchen.
She joined the Culinary Training Program in March 2022, working alongside women from New York, China, Burkina Faso, Niger, and the Dominican Republic. During training, Shruti learned fundamental culinary skills (like knife skills, cooking techniques, and kitchen jargon), soft skills, leadership skills, professional readiness, and completed the NYC Food Protection Exam. After completing training, she immediately landed a job as a Prep Cook with Restaurant Associates in one of Google’s New York cafeterias.
In her new role, Shruti is applying the skills and knowledge she gained at Hot Bread Kitchen every day. “When I joined Hot Bread Kitchen, I thought, ‘I’m going to learn how to cook,’ but what I found really helpful was the [professional readiness training],” Shruti said of her experience.
Shruti is relieved to have finally secured a stable job in the U.S. and is excited to continue learning in her role at Restaurant Associates at Google—and she says it’s all thanks to Hot Bread Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program. “Hot Bread Kitchen has been my starting point,” Shruti said. “I’m never going to forget my time here.” After establishing herself in the food industry for a few years, Shruti’s dream is to marry her background in STEM with her passion for food by becoming a food scientist.