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 From engineer to restaurant manager

A journey from chef to manager

Iain Codona went from an Electrical Engineer to Restaurant Manager with a Bachelor of Business (International Restaurant Management) in 2015. Today, he is General Manager of Popolo Restaurant in Rushcutters Bay, NSW.

What did you study at Le Cordon Bleu?

I  studied a Bachelor of Business (International Restaurant Management) graduating in 2015.

Where have you worked since graduating from Le Cordon Bleu?

Since graduating I’ve reopened an iconic venue on Sydney Harbour called Cruise Bar, and worked as a restaurant manager for Rockpool dining group. I’m currently general manager for Popolo restaurant in Rushcutters Bay.

Have you always known that you wanted work in hospitality?

Not always. I started straight out of high school as an electrical engineer, but after moving to Australia started working in hospitality. I found that I really enjoyed it and started to look at courses to study, to make it a career.

Why did you choose to study with Le Cordon Bleu?

I chose Le Cordon Bleu because it’s an internationally recognised brand and synonymous with quality in the hospitality industry.

What subjects did you love studying and why?

I really enjoyed studying the commercial cookery aspect of the Bachelor’s degree, I think that gave it a really unique insight into the back-of-house operations of restaurants.

If you had to give advice to a new student, what would it be?

Get a job in hospitality, it doesn’t have to be at the highest level - the more experience you have all-round in the business, the better manager you’ll be in the long term.

Find yourself a mentor that you can really learn from. It doesn’t always have to be a positive mentor, you can even learn what not to do from a bad mentor!

Where did do your Work Integrated Learning and what did you learn from it?

I worked as a section waiter at an Italian restaurant in Surrey Hills, which had two hats at the time. It was a fantastic experience and a really great entry level into the restaurant industry.

Work Integrated Learning gave me a great opportunity to put the skills I learned in class into practice in the hospitality industry.

What is it like to be part of the Le Cordon Bleu alumni family?

As an alumni it’s really good to know you have these great connections all over the world, it’s a massive community. Everywhere you go you find these great people in the industry who are also from Le Cordon Bleu.

To watch Iain Codona's video interview, click here.