Jessica Sackler, MMH’ 11
Woodbridge, Connecticut USA
Jessica is currently a business partner at Dos Ojos Hospitality (www.dosojoshospitality.com), a hospitality consulting firm located in San Francisco, California. They have done work for The Four Seasons, Think Food Group by Jose Andres, Teleferic in Barcelona, as well as the McCormick family of McCormick and Schmicks. Most recently, Jessica had the opportunity to work and stay at the Ritz Carlton Reserve in Dorado Beach Puerto Rico for over a month. While at MMH, Jessica was part of the team that won second place in the 2011 Hospitality Business Plan Competition. Her journey after MMH has led her to many opportunities such as starting her own restaurant in Oakland set to open this summer!
Why Cornell? Why Hotel School?
After earning a somewhat useless BA in Linguistics, I originally planned to attend graduate school for speech pathology. However, upon acceptance to graduate school, realized I had no interest whatsoever in speech pathology, and that hospitality was my true calling. Although I had a few years of work experience, I wasn’t sure how to pursue hospitality as a true career, and did some research. The Cornell program sounded like a fantastic opportunity (plus it made my parents excited about the idea)
What was your concentration and why?
Independent—I focused mainly on entrepreneurship, but was able to take classes on a wide array of topics.
What’s your best advice for prospective MMH candidates?
Do your homework. Familiarize yourself with professors and their bodies of work and figure out with whom you may be interested in working. Also be aware that getting in is the easy part! It’s an intense (and extremely rewarding) year.
What’s your best advice for prospective MMH graduates?
Be humble. Careers take decades of hard work to build. While an MMH degree is a wonderful, useful tool, it is not a replacement for years of dedication. It’s not shameful to start at the beginning and work your way up.
What was your career path after MMH?
My first job after MMH was a manager in training program in DC for Jose Andres. After two years managing at Oyamel, I moved to San Francisco as the wine director and Assistant General Manager for Michael Chiarello’s restaurant, Coqueta. After that, I began my consulting firm with my business partner, which came about organically. Folks started asking us for restaurant help and we realized we could build a business. Now, we are currently in the process of opening our own restaurant in Oakland, so my days this month consist of architect meetings, investor meetings, and searching for things like the perfect napkin. I’m also doing a bit of administrative work like restaurant HR as well as wine program development. It’s always a little bit of everything!
What is your most memorable MMH moment?
I don’t think I could possibly narrow it down to one. The whole year was a series of amazing moments.