Program: Hospitality Management
When he was 16, Jim Mulyk worked for Marriott International. By 18, he had the passion and drive to succeed in the industry.
"It becomes your second family," he explained. "If I didn't have the leaders I had around me to truly understand the business, I probably would not be teaching in this field today."
Before coming to College of DuPage, Mulyk was the Food and Beverage instructor at the Technology Center of DuPage in Addison for 10 years, where he taught hospitality and restaurant management to juniors and seniors in DuPage high schools. During that time, he also taught part-time at COD before being hired as full-time faculty in 2011.
Teaching is a passion for Mulyk, and he keeps his door opened to past, current and future students.
"Becoming an educator has nothing but the highest rewards, because I can watch students blossom into successful managers and chefs while having a bird's-eye view of students climbing the career ladder," he said. "I have the challenge of teaching front-of-the-house operations to our future chefs. If they take anything with them from service class, I hope they have just as much pride sending out the courses and knowing how that food is going to be served to their guests than just the plate presentation alone.
"Service is becoming a lost art in our industry, and I want my students to understand and take the professionalism aspect with them into their careers."
Mulyk is inspired by passion and consistency in foodservice, and he believes you can't teach that kind of drive.
"I can rally the servers and show them everything they need to know, but as servers they need to 'want' to take care of their guests," he said. "I know I want to take care of my guests when they come into a restaurant. It's a rewarding feeling seeing smiles and full stomachs leaving my establishments. It means I have successfully executed what I was sent out to do -- exceeding the guests' expectations!
"I am grateful for all the opportunities offered to me in my young career. With that said, you will never get the same kind of day twice in our industry, which I believe is the most fascinating perk in our field."