Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Amjad Yassen: From graphic designer to chef

20 Oct 2017
Amjad Yassen

“I have learned how to manage my time and get organized,” said Amjed Yassen, a young chef at the Intercontinental Hotel Amman. He added, “When you have a lot of work you have to set priorities and this has saved me a lot of time so that I can learn new things.”                                                          

Amjad Yassen graduated from the Pathways to Professionalism scheme (PtP) at the Intercontinental Hotel.  He was first encouraged to enroll in Pathways after hearing it praised by his coworkers who were advancing in their food production skills. Amjad enrolled, and throughout his training realized he was both developing his culinary skills and gaining new ‘soft’ skills that he could use in everyday life. 

Developed and implemented at Jordan’s hotels with the support of USAID BEST, PtP responds to current challenges faced by the hospitality and tourism employers in Jordan by enhancing professionalism and improving standards at hotels across the country. It continues to gain recognition as an innovative vocational training program that offers hotel employees the opportunity to train on the job in food and beverage services, food production or housekeeping, putting them on a path to receive national certification. 

 Amjad Yassen studied graphic design in university and never expected to work in the hotel industry. He had difficulty finding work in his field and an interest in cooking, so he found employment at the InterContinental Hotel . Without having had any formal kitchen training, Amjad was eager to join PtP.

“The processes are easy to learn, we are taught to do our daily tasks in simplified steps so that we remember them,” said Amjad. Since he began training, he has spent more time reflecting on his performance. “The training has improved my work completely because I learn from my mistakes and am able to correct the bad habits in my work.”

 Pathways offers its learners theoretical foundational knowledge coupled with practical training. For Amjad, learning about proper kitchen technique was important, but learning to apply those concepts in the work place was invaluable. “It also boosted my confidence and my ability to perform,” explained Amjad.

 Amjad Yassen graduated Level 2 of PtP in September 2017 and plans to sign up for the next level soon. Pathways does not have a set time limit in which to complete the training, allowing for each learner to move at their own pace. Amjad wants to continue to develop his skills in food production and English so he can better communicate with guests.

“I have a lot of fun and I am learning so much while I work. It satisfies me when I give customers what they need,” said Amjad. Although he never anticipated entering the culinary field, he now enjoys what he does and hopes to one day be promoted to an executive chef.

“I recommend Pathways because it is has been a big opportunity to learn and further my own abilities in many ways,” said Amjad.