Cooking with Style series: Hospitality with Erik Alvarez

The Guardsman

Lucas Almeida

He needed a change — better opportunities, expanded networking strategies and a change of scenery.

A new life.

“I was stagnant where I was at,” Eric Alvarez said. “I was just there hanging out with my friends, doing nothing.”

Alvarez, a Los Angeles native, needed to get away from friends and family and focus on school. San Francisco and City College offered him the light at the end of tunnel.

Now studying hotel management at City College, he is currently finishing up his Associate of Science degree.

As part of the culinary arts and hospitality studies program, students have the opportunity to gain off campus experience through internships offered at many prestigious businesses around San Francisco. Alvarez currently has an internship at the Saint Regis Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel located downtown.
On top of the hours he spends in the classroom, Alvarez must dedicate 15 hours a week to his internship. He gets his hands into all aspects of the industry. Some days he is in the finance department while other days are spent in the human resources department.

Speaking of culinary schools in Los Angeles, Alvarez said, “down there, they don’t have programs that are as well-rounded as it is here.”

“I chose to come here because it specifically has associations with the Henry Hotels, with the Statler family which is a very prestigious family,” he explained. “The school here has a lot of partnerships within other hotels in the city, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to network.”
Hoping to soar higher, Alvarez has already been accepted at San Francisco State, however he is hoping to get admitted at Cal Poly in Pomona, CA which was his first option.
“My ultimate goal is to get my Masters in Hospitality Management,” Alvarez said.

“There’s not many schools in California that offer that. I believe Cal Poly is the first one to offer the Masters program and after that I would like an entry-level management position. And my ultimate goal would be to be Director of Hotel Operations for Starwood.”

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