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What is it like to work in Cornell Dining?

Hear from Nate Bandler, a sales and events associate who has worked at Cornell Dining since 2019.

Video Transcript

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[Nathan] March of 2020, no one really knows what's going to happen you know. I'm sure I wasn't  

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the only one who thought, I might lose my job you know and... they really assuaged those worries right  

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off the bat. And I was incredibly blessed to be at Cornell and they really took care of everybody.

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My name is Nathan Bandler, I'm a Sales and Events Associate at Cornell Catering, a little more on the  

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sales side now. I started in December 2019, right before the pandemic that's right yeah coming  

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up on uh four years here, so that'll be awesome. When I was hired at Cornell they had just gotten  

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back the Johnson School of Business, which is a huge client. So they needed another sales person  

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but also someone to lead up those events. So they actually created my position as a term position. At  

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the end of the term your position can be renewed for another term, which is what happened to me or  

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they can offer you a full-time position. So I mean, I was already putting a tremendous amount  

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of pressure on myself to get to the next term, to get the full-time position and then the pandemic  

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comes. We're coming into work every day and just deleting events off of our books. I remember one  

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of the days when it was really starting to sink in this isn't a week thing, this isn't a month thing. 

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That's when I started to become more and more anxious that, 'hey you know, I could lose my job'.

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Cornell really took care of their employees. Kept us on, made people feel comfortable. Folks would  

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come in for a week and they would do things like crash cleaning, be off two weeks and then come back. 

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And all of that time was paid. It doesn't even sound real when I say it and I feel incredibly  

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fortunate to be in that position. Our Director at the time, Dustin Freeley, he basically helped  

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develop this thing called satellite meals. We would go to locations around campus and we'd set up in  

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there with individually packaged and bagged meals. Completely safe, hasn't been touched by a bunch of  

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different people. It's not an open line at a buffet and I should also mention we would deliver these  

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meals as well. We would go down to GIAC, we would go to St. James Zion Church, all sorts  

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of places around town. If they needed a delivery we were able to do it for them. That was definitely  

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rewarding, to give people meals who needed them, to work in the community to deliver meals. It's  

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just a testament to Dustin, the leaders at Cornell, really making that happen and help

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those people who needed it and that... that was great. Yeah, I take a tremendous amount of pride in  

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my job. Catering is... is hard like, there are certain times of the year with reunion, with commencement  

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where it is really challenging. There's long hours. But also I love the people I work with,  

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the excellent culture that is in our office every day makes me want to come to work. The attention  

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paid to each individual employee is unlike other places that I've worked. I've worked in  

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restaurant kitchens where it's very chaotic. This is the first job I've had where I thought, you know,  

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I could work here forever and enjoy it. And yeah it's... it's unlike a feeling that I felt in any  

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other place. It's the best place that I've ever worked personally. I genuinely love my job. I know  

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a lot of people say that, I take so much pride in working at Cornell too, like I think there's  

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a lot of prestige in working at Cornell, and I feel lucky to work here I feel blessed, I mean, it's awesome.

Read about Nate's story

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Shallena Cunningham


Shallena Cunningham

HR Consultant, Talent Management



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