Continuing our Women’s Month series, meet Jessica Wise, Executive Chef at Covestro.
Executive Chef at Covestro
What do International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women constantly defy expectations and sometimes it is by insane amounts. Getting an official month to celebrate our trailblazers is wonderful but finding more ways to incorporate these accomplishments in our history books will greatly change the way our children feel about our world.
Who are the women that have the most impact on your life?
Some personal connections like my mother, my Nonni, and my sisters have shaped who I am as a person. But if we are talking somewhat about current famous women…the limit does not exist. Women musicians like Audra McDonald, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Paula Abdul, Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, and Aretha Franklin. Women in politics like Princess Diana, AOC, Michelle Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, the notorious RBG, Jane Roe, and the young woman Greta Thunberg.
How did you get started in the industry?
I worked at Eat’n Park for my first job back in ‘97. I pushed my way around all the workings of the restaurant and figured out how everything fits together. I stayed seasonal while attending IUP for Trumpet Performance, and after graduation, I was given the opportunity to join Parkhurst at CMU. Since then, I have worked for multiple dining services and small businesses but finally landed back at Parkhurst. I have gained a lot of knowledge during all this time, and I get to use it with all the different aspects of our operations here.
What advice would you give to someone new in your field?
Stick your nose in everything. The more you learn, the more valuable you are as an employee and the more you understand how everything works together.
During stressful times, how do you lead?
I let everyone know we got this! Just keep going and help each other out. There is no need to get angry or loud. It just wastes time and doesn’t solve anything. Fix the things you can and move on.
If you were a food, what would you be?
A big bowl of cold cereal. It is approachable, can be fun, keeps you feeling like a kid, some kinds are healthy, and some are just filled with sugar that gives you a high for hours. And sometimes you get a prize in the bag! The second choice is literally any kind of pizza.
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