Tuesday, March 07, 2006

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~Konnichiwa, Bonjour, Hello~

Hi, my name is Amelia, and I just finished working temporarily as a translator for two Japanese pastry chefs who came to New York City to learn certain desserts from pastry chefs at top New York City restaurants, such as Le Bernardin, Gotham, Mercer Kitchen, and The Modern at MoMA. 
  This job pretty much fell into my lap, because a friend of my mother is in charge of a big pastry co mpany in Nagoya, Japan, and they do an annual showcase, displaying trendy, new desserts to various companies and restaurants in Japan.  My mother’s friend wasn’t just looking for someone that speaks Japanese and English, she was looking for someone that speaks French fluently as well (because a majority of the pastry chefs at the aforementioned restaurants were French) – so she came to me with the job offer. 
  The Japanese chefs came to New York to learn how to make the desserts, and also incorporate them for the Japanese palate and fashion.  For about 5 to 6 hours a day, I went with the two Japanese chefs to these four-star restaurants, met with the executive pastry chef, behind-the-scenes in the kitchen, and translated.  However, translating wasn’t all I did – I learned a great deal about the pastry world, and I even got to sample the desserts they made!  Marc Aumont, the pastry chef at The Modern at MoMA, was especially kind to me.  To put it mildly: he treated me like a queen!  He brought me cappuccino without my even asking, and when he found out what my favourite dish was (steak tartare), he surprised me by having the kitchen make one dish of steak tartare and another of yellowfin tuna tartare – just for me! 
  This wasn’t my first time working at a restaurant, though.  Two years ago, I began working as a hostess at Rue 57 Brasserie moments away from Carnegie Hall.  I was only there for 6 months, but I matured about 5 years, because working in a restaurant completely changed the way I view people, in general.  I learned how to be patient, charming, and courteous to customers, regardless of how rude and testy they were to me;  I learned how to predict when customers would be leaving, so as to give an estimated time for people on the waiting list, which would sometimes stretch to an hour and a half wait; I learned how to juggle 3 phone lines for reservations, and tell busboys and waiters to set table 96 for 5 people, just by using hand signals.  After a life-changing experience at Rue 57 during 2004, I worked for a little bit at Country, a chic, new restaurant by renowned restaurateur/chef Geoffrey Zakarian, on Madison Avenue during October of 2005. 
  All in all, whether in the kitchen or at the door of a restaurant, I’ve never learned so much in so little time! 


Friday, January 06, 2006

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A True Professional

Hi, my name is Paulina and I've been playing tennis for eleven years now. Over the past few years tennis has become my passion and opened the doors for new opportunities.
When I was sixteen I was given the opportunity to travel to Japan. For a month, I was the hitting partner for two Japanese girls who were planning on turning pro. Not only did I meet new people but I got the opportunity to experience a entirely new culture.  
While at home, better known as the Eastern section, I do individual competitions almost every weekend. Recently I started competing on a higher level and playing national tournaments in areas such as Albany and Arizona. My training takes a lot of time out of my schedule, I train 6 times a week, so juggling school and tennis is a very big challenge. 
My life goal would most definitely be to have a shot on a professional level, but I don't believe professional tennis would become a career for me, so I've considered pursuing a career in sports medicine.
Tennis has taught me many things especially how to be independent, how to work well with others, and most importantly how to make new friends in far away places.          

Thursday, January 05, 2006

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Hi, I’m Harris and this past summer I spent one month in the beautiful city of Seville, Spain. This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I went on a summer program to study at the University of Seville. When I first arrived in Spain, it was exciting but confusing. I didn’t know anybody else from my group and on top of that, it was very hard to communicate, given my limited Spanish vocabulary and the culture seemed so unbelievably different from our own. By exploring the city and befriending the locals, I learned to adapt to and enjoy the culture. I realized many of life’s lessons were taught to me by taking a risk, putting my self out there, and trying new things. I made 100 new friends and I think that this type of an opportunity should be given to everyone. Once I overcame all of the hindrances that were set before me and became accustomed to the food, culture, and people, I was able to enjoy the best thing that could ever happened to me. I became pretty much fluent in a second language and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Helping Others Is Her Thing

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For the past 3 years, I have been an active member of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), which is the largest Jewish Youth Group in the world, with over 16,000 members from 42 different Regions. I am a member of the Big Apple Region (BAR), covering the five boroughs. I held the position of Chapter Treasurer/ Vice President of Fundraising my sophomore year, raising over $2,100 through many different fundraisers. Simultaneously, I served as the Regional Summer Program Promotions Chairwoman.

During my junior year I served as Regional Treasurer/ Vice President of Fundraising of BAR, raising over $4,500 by running many fundraisers and I also wrote a 53 page book teaching all Chapter Treasurers about fundraising. In addition to serving as Regional Treasurer, junior year, I also served as the International Fundraising Chairwoman and was in charge of keeping in monthly contact with 40 Regional Treasurers.

This year, I have taken on an even greater load in the Organization. I am currently the Regional President of BAR, in charge of visiting all 8 female chapters around the region, overseeing the Regional Board as well as the entire Region and representing BAR to the International Order. I also wrote a 70 page training manual for all Chapter Presidents. In addition to serving as Regional President, I serve as the International Secretary/ Treasurer of BBYO. I was actually one out of ten youths elected to represent our 16,000 members throughout the US, Canada, Israel, Bulgaria, France England, Australia and Africa. I’m responsible for Co-editing our international newspaper, maintaining monthly communication with 80 Regional Secretaries and Treasurers worldwide, producing packets and booklets to train those secretaries and treasurers, attending Board Meetings in Washington DC, paid for by the organization and co-coordinating International Leadership Training Conference 2006, the organizations’ largest summer program.

The workload is certainly plentiful, however, it’s this work that has shaped me into the person I am today. This organization changed me as a person. I owe every skill of mine regarding public speaking, time management, being a leader and working under pressure to this organization. Aside from the lessons I learned in BBYO that will forever impact my life, I have also made countless friendships with many members of the organization. I can honestly say that if I were to show up in about 90% of the states in the US, I can comfortably call up someone I became close with on a summer program and ask if I could stay at their place. I even talk to people from Israel almost every day before I leave for school. I am the person I am today because of this organization. Though it takes up a great deal of time and energy, joining BBYO is and always will be the best thing that ever happened to me and one of the most important aspects of my life.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Ballroom Dancer

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Hi, I am Victoria and my outside school hobby is ballroom dancing. December will mark my 1 year anniversary since I started.

I dance at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Bayside. I also compete every couple of months with my instructor in Manhattan, Atlantic City, and Long Island. Our competitions usually last about four days and some of the dances include Tango, Rumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and many others. I will continue dancing throughout my years in college maybe even go professional.

In addition to ballroom dancing, I am also interested in the real estate business; so I am trying now to learn "tricks of the trade." I would also like to own a club, or a restaurant like Cipiranis. I'm very confident I will become successful because I know what I want and I will strive for it. Since the time I was very little (growing up) I have always been a very determined and driven person.

Hmmmm....well, in 10 years I see myself as a successful business woman, either managing a company or marketing it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Cutting Edge Of His Future

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Hi, my name is Gennady and I have been fortunate to work a side job as an intern for a Plastic Surgeon. My work day usually begins in his office with some reception work such as, answering phones, booking appointments and filing patient’s charts. Also, I am usually sent to doctor’s offices or hospitals in an effort to transport important papers or materials for patients.

What's really cool is, sometimes when I'm in the office, the doctor allows me to view some of the surgeries he performs, such as: liposuction, fat grafts, face lifts, etc. I try and help all of my co-workers as much as possible in order to keep the patients happy. One thing I've learned is that the quicker the patients are seen, the happier they are. Which therefore leads to more business for the doctor.

As for what my future holds...hmmmm, in ten years I would love to see myself as a plastic surgeon too. This experience has been awesome!

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