PT: Please share some more inspiring details about your academic journey.
Arash: I’m currently enrolled in the Post Graduate Advanced Wine, Beverage and Business Management Degree Program at George Brown College in Toronto. I received my Bachelors Degree in Culinary Arts Business Management from the prestigious, Culinary Institute of America in New York where I also completed a concentration program in ‘Advanced Wine and Hospitality’ in Napa Valley, California. Upon graduation, I was recruited by the JW Marriott to participate in their Leadership Program, based out of their Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. A year later I was invited to the join the pre-opening launch team for ‘Spago’ – a fine dining restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, in Singapore, at the Marina Bay Sands. Here, I practiced as dining room Captain/Supervisor – my role with the restaurant eventually expanded and I oversaw the storage and inventory of all wine, creating a beverage training manual and calendar, checking and balancing finances nightly, and mentored a team of colleagues.
Currently, I’m also a consultant for Pearson Higher Education, where I work closely with the Hospitality Accounting Department to create customized homework, quiz, and exam questions for George Brown College. Furthermore, I simultaneously work part time as a Food and Beverage Supervisor at the Sheraton Center hotel in Toronto. I oversee restaurant operations and create venue reports detailing the day’s sales and service notes.
PT: Wow! That’s a lot of commitment and dedication! No wonder then, that you’ve received constant accolades and awards through your academic journey. Could you share some details about your professional achievements?
Arash: My professional achievements include receiving the ‘Wine Spirits Educational Trust – Level 2 Certification; the ‘Prudhomme Level 2 Beer Specialist Certification’, the ‘Court of Master Sommelier Certifications; and I’m studying for my ‘Wine Spirits Educational Trust Level 3 Certification’!
I’m also the grateful recipient of two awards just last week – firstly ‘The Wines of Spain Award’, which is bestowed upon individuals of extraordinary wine knowledge and showing dedication in educational studies; and the second award I received was the ‘Outbound International Student Award’, which is given to students showing proficiency in studies and are motivated to learn about the international wine culture. Additionally, I’ve also received two other awards recently, including ‘The Future Titans of the Industry Awards’, which is given to students showing excellent leadership and communication skills; and ‘The Academic Success Award’, which is given to students showing incredible academic feats.
PT: How does it feel to be at the receiving end of such prestigious, numerous awards?
Arash: I feel so honoured, humbled and grateful to have been chosen, out all the students to receive these awards. I thank my parents, Dilnavaz Shroff and Vistasp Shroff for always supporting my crazy dreams and aspirations and helping me make the right decisions in life. I love them both and couldn’t have asked for better parents! My heartfelt thanks to my family in India, California and Canada for their warmth and support, as also to my George Brown family for pushing me every day into bettering myself and my successes. I’m ever so grateful also to my mentors for guiding me steadily onto the right path and sharing tons of new techniques and ideas with me.
PT: What are your future plans?
Arash: In the near future, I will be working with the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, where I hope to gain greater experience before embarking on my next career move, moving up the ranks of the iconic luxury hotel. Eventually, I do hope to return to my Alma Mater, The Culinary Institute of America, as a professor of Hotel Operations. I have lots of dreams which I hope to be able to fulfill on both levels – professional and personal in the future.