Alumni Stories

Sean K. McCreery

The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Sean K. McCreery

Being a chef allows your inner artist to come out in your food. Sean K. McCreery , Operations Manager at Sodexo Associate of Science in Culinary Arts, 2007 , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Sean K. McCreery is an operations manager at Sodexo in Vail, Arizona. He supervises 100 employees to ensure that 12,300 children are served two healthy meals each day. In his position, Sean oversees the daily food service operations for 17 schools, grades Kindergarten through 12th. “I always need to give more than 100% daily. Being a chef allows your inner artist to come out in your food. Food service [can be] a thankless job, but I get gratitude by seeing the smile after that first bite—and the silence around the table from the people eating my creations,” he says.

Sean’s busy workplace means that he’s constantly learning and teaching. “When you have a wealth of knowledge, everyone wants to ask you the questions. In doing that, I became more of a teacher.” His experience in the United States Marine Corps added to the leadership abilities he brings to workplace and kitchen. “In school [and now], students looked to me for help, guidance, and mentorship.”

He adds that the challenges of his career mean he’s also evolving as a manager. “Being in charge of a multi-unit operation is where my career is going. I think the next step for me will be to start my own consulting firm. I want to help others achieve the success I have in my life.”

Sean began his education after serving in the Marines as a chef. “I have a bit of a different [background] story,” he says. From a young age, he knew he wanted to be a chef. “It was very challenging trying to learn all the jobs and becoming good at each one. But looking back at my wealth of knowledge, it was well worth all the hard work.”

Sean is a graduate of both The Art Institute of California—San Diego and The Art Institute of Portland. He recommends that current students challenge themselves with higher goals. “When you get to one goal, strive to get to the next.” He says that he realized the benefits of his education when he was placed in a management position. “It is all a growing process and a mind set of being able to strive to attain the goals you have set in life.”

*as of 2012, a campus of Argosy University