Live LB Magazine

Live LB September 2010

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Page 52 of 91

When Jessika Ramos decided to leave a reasonably good paying job in customer service at a large telecommunications company for a career in the culinary arts, she broke down her new career goals in increments of five, 10 and 20 years. Each is designed for her to reach her ultimate goal of sharing her skills, talents and knowledge with others as a teacher. Now Ramos, 36, is starting at the very beginning. She has been a cake decorator at Rossmoor Pastries in Signal Hill for the past eight months, specializing in cake decorating. Ramos is also a student in the school of culinary arts at LBCC. "About three years ago things just weren't working out for me at my job," said Ramos. "So I talked to my husband about going back to school and taking up my passion, which is cooking – baking to be specific," she said. "It's something I've always done and it's something I do to relieve stress, and my previous occupation was extremely stressful. Then it sort of dawned on me that if I'm baking to relieve stress and I have a job that is making me stressful, why not do what I like to do as a profession." Like many of her peers, Ramos draws inspiration and influence from her family – especially her mother, who taught her how to cook and bake as a young child. Ramos believes that cooking and baking is as much as science as it is an art as well as something to do to please others. She calls herself a perfectionist when it comes to using the right amount of ingredients. Take a look at some of her creations such as a ginger bread house she made last Christmas and you can say that she's part architect too. "Baking is very structured," said Ramos. "Recipes are measured in weights. I'm a very organized person and I have to do things just right. As far as a specialty, that all depends on who I'm cooking for. I want to learn everything and cake decorating is a good place to start." Jessika Ramos A Career Change Can Do You Good Having to go to one income so Ramos can complete her studies can be a struggle for any family. But looking at the big picture, there's where Ramos' five, 10 and 20 year goals come into play. "My five year goal is that I finish my work in baking and cooking at Long Beach City College and earn a Bachelor's Degree," Ramos said. "I haven't decided whether or not to transfer to UNLV (University of Nevada Las Vegas) and get my Bachelor's in culinary arts management or a degree in hospitality and tourism management at Long Beach State or Cal State Dominguez Hills. Her long-term goals get more specific. "My 10-year goal is to be a pastry chef and I'll be doing that while working my way through school. My 20-year goal is that I want to teach cooking and baking. Teaching is a good fit for me. It's something I like doing and I'm getting the opportunity now by helping out quite a bit in school." Ramos has it all planned out by measuring the benefits. n FEATURE : COOKING UP A DREAM

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