June 2016, Volume 20, Number 3

Making Their Mark

Designing an Enriching Lifelong Career

She’s only 26, but Joyce Sosa is already working on her second degree and her second distinctive career path.

Sosa, who came to the U.S. at age 18 from her native Venezuela, earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Miami, with a focus on graphic design and photography.

After working in graphic design for a couple of years, she decided to indulge time in her other passion – cooking – so she signed up for courses at MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute.

Recently, she won two first-place awards in the Harina Pan cooking competition, picking up $4,500 in scholarship prizes.

“Joyce is an amazing student,” said Chef Collen Engle, culinary chair of the Miami Culinary Institute at MDC. “She is one of the hardest workers I have taught in my five years here.

“She has everything a chef needs for a great future – drive, passion, creativity and respect for both her craft and her mentors. I believe she will have a great impact on our industry, and I’m excited to see what her future holds.”

Sosa, who is on track to graduate this year with an MDC Associate in Science in Culinary Arts Management, said her background in graphic design has been a big asset.

“I’m always going to merge both my passions,” said Sosa, who is the captain of the MCI student Culinary Team. “I design my own logos and menus. My background in graphic design complements what I’m studying right now.”

Sosa said her ancestry on her mother’s side is Italian, so that’s where she learned to cook as a child. Building on what she learned from her mother and grandmother, she first used leftovers and a microwave oven for her early culinary experiments.

Now she is set to become the first professional chef in her family, and she plans to do this for a long time.

“I’ve always dreamt of being 80 years old and still cooking,” said Sosa, who wants to run a casual bistro. “I want to be able to cook and be active until I can’t be active anymore.

”The reason I love to cook is that I love challenges. I like to come up with something new and put my own touch on every meal.”

— WV

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