Anna Riley

Anna enjoys working in the Tearoom

Anna Riley always knew she wanted to attend a big school. With her parents both graduating from Iowa State University, one could say being a Cyclone was in her blood. However, once she discovered a passion for nutrition, she knew there was nowhere else she’d rather study.

Although she knew she wanted to be a dietitian, Anna didn’t know if she wanted to take a more clinical approach or focus on food management, so she enrolled in HSPM 380L: Quantity food production and service management, a class which gives students hands-on experience by working at the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom.

“With dietetics you can go into clinical or food service management,” she said. “But this class helped me realize I’m not interested in pushing products; I’m more clinical.”

In conjunction with learning about her career path, Anna also learned a lot of valuable skills she can apply in any career including managing staff, organizing tasks, and being a leader. She gained these through the course’s structure. She attends lecture three times a week and puts that knowledge to use during lab twice a week. The students are in charge of everything from planning the menu, sticking to the budget, and serving the customers. Anna said she likes how much responsibility the students have.

“It’s mostly student run,” she said. “There’s a teaching assistant there, but it’s a good day when they are invisible and we run the show.”

Anna is very grateful she had the chance to experience dietetics from this angle. She said she understands it’s a big time commitment, but students considering careers in the dietetic field should try to take this course to learn about the industry.

 “If you’re interested in the food field at all, be it hospitality management or dietetics, this class is a great way to gain hands-on experience and get to know your peers. And if you’re not interested in a career, put a visit to the Tearoom on your bucket list. It’s good inexpensive food, and you can use your dining dollars!”