The Beginner’s Guide to Hospitality and Culinary Management Careers

written by Georgia Schumacher 24 March 2015

If you are a natural leader, enjoy helping others, and want to work in an energetic, upbeat environment, a career in hotel, culinary, or event management might be the perfect fit for your personality and skill set! Hospitality and culinary management careers can give you a chance to meet new people, travel extensively, and improve other people's lives.

Hotel photo

A degree or certificate program in the area of culinary or hospitality management can prepare you for a variety of jobs managing events, overseeing restaurants, or moving all the way up to managing a top-tier hotel. It all depends on what you want and what you’re willing to work toward! Here are three common career areas in which you may decide to take your future!

1. Hotel management

As one might expect, many hotel management graduates opt for careers in the hotel industry. As a hotel manager, you'll interact frequently with guests and employees and be responsible for ensuring that the hotel service, appearance, and revenue meets expectations. New graduates may start as management trainees, eventually moving into supervisory and management positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for lodging managers was $46,810 in 2012.

2. Culinary management

Culinary management is a fast-paced industry in which you will have a chance to work with employees and the public as you plan and manage a business in the culinary field. Your responsibilities can range from purchasing and cost control, to training and supervising workers, to overseeing quality standards in food preparation. According to the BLS, management occupations in restaurants and other eating places had a median annual salary of $58,640 in 2013.

3. Event management

Event managers are responsible for planning and creating successful events such as weddings, conventions, and trade shows. As an event manager, you should be ready to juggle multiple responsibilities! You'll set up schedules, approve event marketing strategies, supervise decorations, book entertainment acts, and finalize catering menus. The BLS estimates that jobs in this field will grow 33% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average 11% growth for all occupations.

At The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, we offer 4 programs in the field of Culinary Management, including the Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management and Bachelor of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Our Certificate programs include Event Management and Food & Beverage Operations. Explore our programs, or request more information today!

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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division does not guarantee employment or any particular level of compensation following graduation. See aiprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

You’re Invited: March Student Events

written by Georgia Schumacher 6 March 2015

calendar

There’s never a dull moment at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division! Register now for these online events and find even more webinars on the Campus Common Events Calendar!

Upcoming March Events

Online Library Orientation
Sunday, March 8, 9pm ET
Brand new to the Online Library? We recommend this orientation session, hosted by library staff and introducing everything our Online Library has to offer.

Meet the Program Directors
Thursday, March 12, 7pm ET and Saturday, March 14, 12pm ET
Come meet the Hotel & Restaurant Management and Culinary Management Program Directors – Gaye Warren & Seth Selke -- in an open call in townhall forum! Feel free to introduce yourself and discuss anything that’s on your mind, concerns, questions, and ideas regarding your program experience including any Portfolio concerns.

eBooks in the Online Library
Sunday, March 15, 9pm ET
Attend this session to find out how to search, read, save, and download eBooks. The Art Institutes Online Library offers over 150,000 eBooks on a variety of subjects including culinary arts, technology, web design, fashion and more.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Chef Certification!
Thursday, March 19, 7pm ET
Join us for a presentation by faculty member Chef Collen Engle, CEC (Certified Executive Chef) and CCE (Certified Culinary Educator), to learn more about what is American Culinary Federation chef certification, the different levels available, what it represents, and how to achieve it. This workshop will also discuss the cost and the time needed to achieve certification.

Image and Video Collections in the Online Library
Thursday, March 19, 7pm ET
Become skilled at searching and selecting images, as well as printing, saving, and reviewing copyright information. Attend this workshop to learn how to get the most out of AP Images, Graphic Stock, Image Quest, and VideoBlocks. Learn how to access and download royalty free stock images, royalty free stock footage and motion backgrounds.

Sound and Audio Collections in the Online Library
Saturday, March 21, 2pm ET
Need royalty-free stock footage, sound effects, or production music for your school project? This workshop will show you how to search for and find these resources, and discuss how you can use these resources legally and ethically.

Web Design Q&A
Thursday, March 26, 8:30pm ET
Our Q&A Student Webinars are intended to provide greater insight and support in three key areas: Portfolio Prep, Freelance & Internships, and Web Design. Content and general discussion will be directed to Graphic Design/Digital Design students, but faculty members and students from other programs are welcome.

Weekly Meetings

Math LIVE!
Held Mondays, Thursdays, & Saturdays
Each webinar is a 60-minute informal study session with a full-time math faculty member in which you can ask math questions, enrich your grasp on the class material, and gain useful assignment guidance. By attending a Math LIVE! event, you may also be eligible to receive bonus points in your math course.

The Mad Professor's Drawing Room - Live Online with Nina Stanley
Held Sundays at 3pm ET, Wednesdays at 5pm ET and Fridays at 12pm ET
Login to your computer, put on your headset and take part in an open studio with faculty member Nina Stanley! Spend the first 20 minutes drawing short gestures, then work on a “long pose” for another 45 minutes or so. Come for the whole time or just for a little bit – the choice is yours!

International Game Developers Association (IGDA)
Held weekly on Wednesdays at 9pm ET
Learn more here about IGDA meetings and why all students interested in game design are encouraged to join!

Remember, you can register for all of these events and find pre-recorded events on the Events page in the Campus Common!

To request disability related accommodations for a virtual event please contact the event organizer in advance at jminnaugh@aii.edu.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division Featured in Military Advanced Education’s 2015 Guide to Colleges & Universities

written by Georgia Schumacher 3 March 2015

MAE logoThe Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division is pleased to announce that we have been named a Top School in the Military Advanced Education’s (MAE) 2015 Guide to Colleges & Universities for best practices in military and veteran education.

The MAE Guide, developed based on a questionnaire regarding military-friendly policies, is intended to inform students about schools that go out of their way to give back to our men and women in uniform. This year, institutions were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid for veterans, flexibility, on-campus support, and online support services.

The 2015 MAE Guide to Colleges & Universities is available to search online at www.kmimediagroup.com.

As part of The Art Institutes system of schools, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division provides a broad array of programs in the areas of design, media arts, fashion, and culinary arts for active duty service members, reservists, veterans, military spouses, and families. Our online programs provide additional flexibility for military personnel who may be sent overseas during their study.

“The Art Institute of Pittsburgh–Online Division proudly offers educational opportunities for military members and veterans who have honorably served and their families,” said Kristen Woods, Regional Vice President at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division. “We have a proud tradition and strong record of serving our nation’s veterans and their families and share a deep gratitude to the men and women who keep America safe. We are honored to be recognized for our military efforts among other premiere institutions of higher learning.”

In late 2014, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division also received the honor of being named a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the publisher of G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse, and Vetrepreneur® magazines.

To learn more about how we support the educational needs of military and veteran students, please visit http://new.artinstitutes.edu/admissions/details/militaryveterans.

Tips for Getting Great Winter Landscape Photos

written by Georgia Schumacher 18 February 2015

Do you love snow-covered mountains and icy lakes? Spring will be here before we know it, and, for those of you in colder climates, there may only be a few weeks left to capture this breathtaking winter beauty.

Winter landscape photography can be fun and rewarding, but can also bring a unique set of challenges. These challenges include the need to find contrast and patterns in a snow-covered setting, to use appropriate exposure levels, and to protect yourself and your equipment from cold, snow, and dampness.

1. Expose Snow Correctly

Snowy landscapes are difficult to photograph well. In an attempt to avoid overexposure, camera settings often reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor, resulting in snow that looks drab and gray. Adding +1/3 or +2/3 exposure compensation forces the camera to let in more light, bringing the snow back to pure white, which can be very effective in high-contrast winter scenes.

2. Look for Contrasts and Patterns

Photos of winter landscapes need more than snow to make them interesting. Look for dark elements that contrast with the whiteness of the snow, such as evening shadows or the bare skeletons of trees, and include them in your composition. Also, keep an eye out for interesting patterns, such as criss-crossing branches, rocky features, rough tree bark, and long shadows, which can add texture to your photos. Landscape photography classes can teach you how to compose images to highlight the most interesting elements of a scene.

3. Stay Warm and Comfortable

You’re unlikely to take your best photographs if you are shivering and your fingers are numb with cold. Wrapping yourself up in gloves, a hat, and sturdy boots before heading out reduces the risk that you will have to cut your photography session short due to extreme cold. If you’re driving in snowy conditions to reach the perfect shooting location, bring a charged mobile phone, blankets, water, and snacks in case you break down and need to call for help.

4. Protect Your Equipment

Rapid transitions between very cold and warm environments can cause condensation to build up in your photography equipment. When you come in from a winter shoot, wrap your gear in a towel so that condensation can be absorbed as the equipment gradually warms to room temperature. This simple step protects your camera equipment from the harmful effects of moisture so that it will stay in good working condition for many seasons to come.

Interested in studying photography? Explore our photography programs!

How to Find Gifts for Your Fellow Creatives

written by Georgia Schumacher 11 February 2015

GiftSearching for the perfect gift is always challenging, but adding a little creativity into the overall process makes it much more enjoyable. From modern online tools to tried-and-true investigative techniques, it's easy to select a meaningful present for the artist in your life.

Helpful Shopping Strategies

Plenty of methods allow you to brainstorm gift ideas, and many apps make it easy to narrow down gifts by interest and even personality type. The days of wandering throughout the mall helplessly are over thanks to the following strategies.

Peruse Blogs: Blogs are the magazines of the internet, and they can provide major insight into your recipient's wish list. Check out the ones he or she frequents for product listings or insightful reviews.

Shop Small: Some of the best customized gifts are found at local boutiques and gift shops, and they're worth visiting to get an idea of possibilities. Shopping small is an excellent way to support your community and local business owners as well (many of whom are artists themselves).

Get Personal: Gifts.com allows you to narrow products by gender, age and interests. Simply choose the most applicable trait that relates to your intended recipient, and let the site show you page after page of options. In addition, stores like Uncommon Goods provide filtering tools that let you narrow gifts based on hobbies and pursuits.

Employ a Decoy: If all else fails, lovingly trick your gift recipient into helping you "shop" for someone else -- say, someone who has a lot of the same interests as he or she. You can always get some useful information through this technique, and it's a great way to avoid a gifting disappointment in the making.

Creative Gift Suggestions

Leave those boring gift cards to the amateurs, and score bonus points by thinking outside the traditional gift box.

DIY: What's more meaningful between two artsy types than a do-it-yourself gift? Whether it's a classic painting or handmade jewelry for Valentine's Day, that personalized touch makes any gift more memorable and cherished. A handwritten card is a sweet accompaniment.

Inspirational: Artists need their muses, which is why an encouraging present is a wonderful idea to brighten up a home office. Consider quote displays or a cleverly designed teapot to help fuel productivity. Design magazine subscriptions or books, cameras, and record players are excellent choices to inspire, as well.

Decorative: Many great gift ideas center around the home, and these are easily tailored to the recipient based on aesthetic preferences. A wall tapestry, colorful knitted throw or framed art can help spruce up a living space, while scented candles add to a creative atmosphere.

Practical: Creative types have a reputation for keeping things a little messy, so why not help organize a work space with some stylish accessories? Whimsical bookends, unique storage supplies, or a versatile wall organizer can help reduce clutter while adding some visual appeal.

Memorable: Surprise your loved one with an unexpected day of fun. From stargazing with your sweetheart to taking your bestie on a road trip to see his or her favorite band, the experience is something you can share together.

Gift-giving is meant to be enjoyable for both the giver and recipient, and with the help of some planning and personalization, shopping for that artistically-inclined loved one has never been simpler.