NMTI promotes 51 students

Under culinary arts, hotel and restaurant operations

The Northern Marianas Trades Institute promoted about 51 students under its hotel and restaurant and culinary arts programs yesterday afternoon.

Twenty-six hotel and restaurant operations students and 25 culinary arts were presented their certificates at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.

The students went through 180 classroom hours and 240 hours internship for the hotel and restaurant operations program and 84 classroom hours and 240 hours internship for the culinary arts program.

Two students each from both programs were chosen to give remarks about their experiences during their course and internship.

Donovan Castro, a culinary arts student, said that before he started the program under NMTI, he was looking forward to going abroad to pursue culinary arts.

“For the longest time I have been passionate about cooking. I started at the age of 10, baking and cooking as well at the age of 16, then I hit a wall, not knowing where to go, so I wanted to go to the U.S.,” Castro said. “When I saw NMTI in the newspaper offering a culinary arts program, I said to myself, ‘Why not apply at NMTI?’ I don’t need to go abroad. I was so excited. …It is a good program and I encourage a lot of people with the talent of cooking to pursue it.”

Eleanor Tenorio, who was under the hotel and restaurant operations program, said she first tried to enter the hotel industry two years ago when she applied with a local hotel and went through the interview process. She later received a letter telling her she wasn’t accepted for the job due to her lack of education and experience. Soon after, she heard about NMTI’s program in the John Gonzales LIVE show.

“I immediately saw the opportunity that I can pursue my education and training at NMTI and be able to qualify for employment in the hotel industry. I feel that we are fortunate and blessed that we have NMTI in our community,” Tenorio said.

“…Many of us have been through so many struggles to get this far. Twenty-nine years have passed for me with all the ups and downs, but I am so happy that I finally did it,” she added.

The culinary arts program, which began in 2009, prepares students for gainful employment and or postsecondary education in the food production and service industry. The hotel and restaurant operations program, which began in 2010, teaches techniques and concepts related to hotel and restaurant operations, marketing, reservations, food and beverage services, table service, banquets, and other guest services.

NMTI board chair John Oliver Gonzales said that many of their newly promoted students have worked with Hyatt and Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan.

“I think this is a great milestone for us in the Commonwealth as we continue to work with training them and getting them into jobs. We not only train in the classroom but also hands-on internship,” he added.

NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said they will soon be inking apprenticeship agreements with two other hotels.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at jayson_camacho@saipantribune.com.

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