Student Stories: Christine Petersen

Christine Petersen


Major: Culinary and Hospitality Management

When she was in the eighth grade, Christine Petersen wanted to make a surprise birthday dinner for her mom.

So Petersen enlisted the help of a good friend's mom, who was a caterer, and the result was a multiple course dinner for her mom and friends.

"From that moment, I was hooked," Petersen explained.

One summer while still in high school, Petersen took "Introduction to the Hospitality Industry" at College of DuPage. After graduating, Petersen came to COD full-time and earned her Associate in Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. She then transferred to Southern Illinois University and earned a bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition.

"College of DuPage has an excellent program curriculum that allowed me to continue to live at home and work," she said. "It was the best financial choice but offered completely transferable credits for my bachelor's degree with a great foundation for the hospitality industry and culinary arts."

Petersen also earned an MBA from Walden University and currently is employed by Avendra, North America’s largest procurement organization for the hospitality industry. She works as the Director of Field Support and Customer Relations, is a procurement consultant for customers in Chicago and oversees the development of Avendra’s team in the northeast and central U.S.

Petersen still values her time at College of DuPage, having served on the Traditions in Excellence Committee and currently working with the Advisory Committee.

"College of DuPage provided me with a fundamental understanding of the hospitality industry, focusing on the culinary side," she said. "This education provided me with the background for success in my bachelor's program and my career. In fact, the first time I traveled internationally was when I took the Italian cooking course. And through this program, I met my best friends."

More about the Culinary and Hospitality Management program