May 20, 2016, Lansdale, Pa.--After working for more than 25 years as an electrician, David Maga, with some coaxing from his wife, Kate, decided to try a new career.
A cooking enthusiast, Maga, of Harleysville, enrolled at the Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College, where he will graduate with a Culinary Arts certificate this week.
“I always enjoyed cooking,” Maga said. “I didn’t know much about the culinary field.”
Guidance from the college’s instructors provided him with a better understanding of the hospitality industry and gave him insight into baking as well.
“It was just interesting to get my hands dirty and get some of the background, some of the science of it,” he said. “The instructors were very helpful. They were always open for questions and guidance in the field.”
Being back in an educational setting helped Maga break out of his shell a bit and be more sociable. Instructors helped him build confidence to participate in the Culinary Arts Institute’s Iron Chef competition.
“It really pushes you to think and get the creative juices flowing,” Maga said of the cooking contest. “It’s helped me to broaden my culinary tastes a bit. I tried a few things that I never thought I would try, like cooking inspired by different ethnic backgrounds, which is very interesting and fun.”
As for the future, Maga said he would like to test the waters in a few different areas within culinary arts, possibly at a commercial establishment.
His future career is dependent on “whatever I can work out with balancing family life and work.”
Family means everything to Maga. That’s why the career change, in part, came about as an inspiration for his sons, who are in sixth- and ninth-grade.
“It is an accomplishment,” said Maga, who maintained straight A’s throughout his time at Montco. “I did go to school and I did work hard on it.”
Maga said he hopes his ethic will double as a life lesson for his sons.
“I was never really a student in high school,” he said. “With my kids getting older, I thought it would be a nice inspiration to them as far as being a dad and going back to school and trying to do something I enjoy doing. It is possible to accomplish goals, even with a busy life.”
The words of wisdom Maga shares with his boys is, “If I can get an A, you can get an A.”
- Theresa Katalinas
David Maga, Hatleysville, is a 2016 graduate of MCCC's Culinary Arts Institute. Photo by Sandi Yanisko