Judy Doherty understands that education is not just one step forward in a career progression, but it is an ongoing process of learning to update and hone skills.
Her first educational stepping stone was earning an associate’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). From there, she parlayed the knowledge into an impressive career as an executive pastry chef, moving from the Tucson Country Club to even more impressive stints at several Hyatt properties.
Of course there was the creation of fluffy, sugary and delectable treats. But Judy also turned her attention to more executive matters such as budgeting, management and marketing.
And she was gaining attention, with media mentions in Bon Appetit, Chocolatier magazine and PBS. It would just be the beginning of her promotional and career successes.
Skills Upon Skills Upon Skills
Her next career evolution would stay within the food industry, but focus on product and research and development consulting, where she concentrated on recipe development and cooking demonstrations.
It was here where she first dabbled in photography, an interest that would later turn into a career in itself. But that’s getting ahead of her story!
It is also at this time where Judy began to give back to the industry—teaching advanced pastry making as an adjunct instructor at Johnson & Wales University. While teaching, she learned that she could enroll as a student and take online courses. Being a polymath, she of course took advantage of that opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and food service management.
The Entrepreneur Years
Armed with experience from a cooking/teaching/management career and a shiny new degree, Judy then moved in a more entrepreneurial direction, starting several businesses.
You’ll also view her photography site, which has become a main interest of hers.
Photos of Food
Food photography seemed a natural fit for Judy. It combined her loves of food and of learning new techniques. It was that desire to improve her photo shoots and marketing that eventually led her to us.
Wanting a more professional presence to display her photographic talent, Judy began her education search by Googling “photo portfolio,” and naturally she landed at our Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Visual Arts, which she started in 2016 and completed two years later. One of the features that Judy appreciated from the program: The succession of portfolio-type presentations during her studies required her to think like a professional photographer.
It wasn’t long before she put these new photo skills into action.
“When I put my portfolio up online, my phone started ringing,” Judy recalls. “I had people who wanted me to shoot their food that way. And then the more you shoot, the more you put online and the more it becomes a snowball.”
Judy found other, less-tangible benefits to earning the certificate. Foremost among those plusses was gaining an artistic education. Years later after completing the Visual Arts certificate, she still gives raves to one of her instructors.
“Francesca Pastine was just so visually intelligent,” Judy enthuses, “and the way she would critique people would make you want a lot more critique. She was just that good. You could see how much she improved everything.”
“Iveta’s content was just so good. From the minute you sat down until the minute you left, she gave you so much information. It was just hard to take it all in, it was so good, and her assignments were really worthwhile.”
Of course, Judy has put what she’s learned into practice. You can see for yourself some of her videos and animations in her online portfolio.
Why Not Add Another Certificate?
Judy didn’t just luck into her career and life successes, of course. She has consistently worked at it, and that includes keeping herself educated. So having immersed herself into art with the Visual Arts certificate, she decided to further branch out and take the Professional Program in Graphic Design, which she just finished in 2020.
“My clients love that I'm a one-stop shop.”
“The visual arts and the graphic design programs together were just crazy good, especially for photography,” Judy shares.
Talking about one of her photography commissions, she reveals the ways that adding new skills has made her job easier. “I had to put a French menu on a table, so I was able to go into InDesign and create it, save it as an image and drop it onto a table.
“If I didn't take all these classes, I’d probably have to pay people a lot of money to do it. My clients love that I'm a one-stop shop.
“Extension is so valuable for the money, I just can't get enough of it!”
Time for an Advanced Degree
Her most recent success was completing the Master of Professional Studies program in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Taken by itself, that’s a huge accomplishment, and we offer hearty congratulations to Judy.
We’re so proud to have contributed to Judy’s continued successes, both in the classroom and in commerce.