Michael Bolton

I received a raise when I graduated. My employer sees a big change in me.

Gateway training allows grad to move up in career

Michael Bolton knew how to cook and was working in the restaurant industry right out of high school.

But to move up, and to someday open his own restaurant, Michael knew he needed a degree. He turned to Gateway Technical College to gain  new skills, more experience and learn how to run his own business.

The Culinary Arts graduate is well on his way to realizing his dream, too. He’s gained more responsibility at his current business, received a raise after earning the degree and has an eye on opening a food service site sometime in the future.

“I learned a lot more by coming back to college rather than trying to learn it just by experience,” says Michael.

“I received a raise when I graduated. My employer sees a big change in me. I started there when I was 19 and now the work I am doing is real different from when I started. I am running the area I’m in. I can order all my own food, cost out the recipes, work with vendors, do my own inventory. I couldn’t do that before, and I learned a lot of that at Gateway.”

Michael’s mom attended and graduated from Gateway and had a positive experience, which made Michael consider enrolling.

Michael says he’s glad he did.

“Gateway was a great experience. I’ve known people who went to other technical colleges who didn’t receive the same education as I got at Gateway. It has better equipment, more equipment and the instructors were more hands-on at Gateway, helping you through every step of the way. 

“I learned a lot,” he says. “I learned the proper way of doing things. I learned this at Gateway’s kitchen, you get hands-on experience of doing things the right way.”

While Michael enjoys his career in the food service industry, it wasn’t always that way. His initial career interest? Construction. But that wasn’t meant to be. Since both of Michael’s parents worked at restaurants, and he learned to cook at home, his first job was in food service.

Michael realized he was good at it – and that he liked it.

“At the end of my senior year in high school, I was cooking and the money kept going up, getting better,” says Michael. “I had some bad luck with my back and couldn’t get into construction, not as a long-term career. Cooking as a career kept growing on me.

“I knew I was young and I felt I was a good cook, but figured I wouldn’t earn what I was worth in this career without a degree. I gained a lot of skills at Gateway and now I’m a manager – the college was a win for me. It’s helped me a lot.”

Michael says the degree has helped him now, and will continue to do so in the future, especially if he reaches his goal of running his own business. He’s started to take Business courses at Gateway to help with that, as well. “I’m able to understand the whole process, how everything works.”