Mia Saling

Culinary Management

Adjunct Faculty, CulinaryArts
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Mia Saling

I tell my students the importance of seeing things to completion. Mia Saling, Esq , Adjunct Faculty, CulinaryArts , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

There was no defining moment; it was really something that developed over time. I would never have described myself as someone who was destined to become a creative professional. In fact, I thought I was destined to follow a more linear path in business and law. I quite literally fell into the creative profession and realized that this is where I belonged all along. Now, I have the luxury of marrying a creative profession with my business and legal profession. 

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran’s sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I use my professional background to illustrate real-world scenarios where the theories my students are learning are used. I feel like the real-world scenarios, or "war stories," keep the students engaged while giving them a more tangible learning experience. 

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

My midterm and final projects are exercises that expose the students to real-world challenges. A couple projects of note include preparing an application for various types of licenses through Alcohol Beverage Control and putting together forms in order to form business entities.

What role does collaboration contribute to students’ success… especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

I split the midterm and final projects into two parts: the first part involves group work where the students enhance each other's learning experience by bounding ideas around a business concept they create. The second part is an individual essay where students answer specific questions about the process. The student's early collaboration seems to help their overall comprehension of the projects. 

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

I tell my students the importance of seeing things to completion. I also stress the importance of asking questions and finding the resources in order to answer those questions. In other words, I teach my students to exercise critical thinking, and stress the importance of that.

The most critical advice I can give is to not wait around for opportunities; instead, students have to creative opportunities and remain proactive.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know at The Art Institutes?

I'm a wine enthusiast, dive master and martial artist.