By Lily Fletcher
There isn’t a better way to understand the talent and scope of the students at Florence University of the Arts – The American University of Florence (FUA-AUF) than going to the Fedora pastry shop and seeing the experiential learning through our school programs. Fedora is an opportunity for students to learn in a way quite different from your normal classroom as they experience restaurant and cafe life in a professional, lively setting. At FUA-AUF, the hands-on experience of reinterpreting Italian Pasticceria is conducted through the international lens of their students.
Fedora is a creative learning lab where students have the opportunity to take on many roles in the restaurant and pastry industry. Additionally, students can choose to obtain a certificate in Hospitality and Management or in Food, Wine, and Wellness studies. FUA-AUF Fedora student Rene works in the bistro as a server and believes her experience in the Hospitality and Management program is preparing her for a future career in restaurant management.
“This is my first experience working at a cafe, and I can learn a lot about service and how the workday feels. My favorite part of it is when people come in to finish their workday with a treat before dinner,” Rene said.
Rene learns hands-on the ins and outs of the business rather than being told what to do, which has built her confidence and made her more comfortable with the restaurant process. Gaining practical experience is what she believes will push her one step closer to hopefully becoming a restaurant manager and owner one day.
At FUA-AUF, our programs for experiential learning in the areas of food, hospitality, and restaurant management approach learning in a professional setting. The whole community benefits from participating in these unique programs by utilizing the goods and services students in these programs are able to create. This program helps shape FUA-AUF into an overall collaborative space and a community with a bold student culture.
As for Rene, she can’t wait to see what’s next. “I hope that one day I can take my experiences in this program and hopefully run a restaurant of my own someday,” Rene said. “I know that this is the first step in that journey.”