Student Spotlight: Rachel Dau
Major: Culinary Arts
Rachel Dau came to College of DuPage unsure of what to pursue as a career.
“I figured I would take classes and decide if this was right for me – and it turns out it was,” she said. “I fell in love with the school. The chefs, instructors and fellow classmates have helped to shape who I am now, and I would not trade that for anything.”
Dau has finished two associate’s degrees in Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts. While at COD, she served as the vice president for the College’s Culinary and Hospitality Club and worked as a student assistant in the Baking and Pastry Department, where she created and managed a department-wide ordering system for all of the classes.
Outside of school, Dau spent two seasons working as part of the kitchen team during the Chicago Bears home games as well as other on-site events. She also runs her own cake and pastry business.
“I will do anything from weddings and birthdays to baby and bridal showers,” she said. “Making people happy through food and knowing that I was able to help make their big day a little more special is incredibly rewarding.”
In 2013, Dau received a $5,000 scholarship from the Chicago Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. She was the first COD student to receive this award and one of only seven women in the Chicago area to do so. In 2014, she also was named one of the College’s Outstanding Graduates.
Instead of leaving campus, Dau stayed at COD as part of the 3+1 program with Roosevelt University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Roosevelt. In 2015, she assisted the United States Pastry Olympic team for the Coupe du Monde (World Pastry Cup) in Lyon, France. The team took third place, the first time in 10 years that the U.S. was on the podium.
Dau now works at Sur La Table in Naperville teaching cooking classes. Her goals are to open her own bakery or restaurant and to teach baking and pastry arts. She is thankful for the education she has received from College of DuPage.
“I want to continue to learn and gain experience and make a difference in other people’s lives,” she said. “Taking classes at COD helped me to save money while still getting a fantastic education. I have learned so much in so many aspects of my life and am very grateful.”
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