My Journey to JWU: Will Jones '26

My Journey to JWU logo with pawprintThe majority of JWU’s baking & pastry arts or culinary arts students are here because they know a JWU education will prepare them to step confidently into their chosen career. Will Jones '26 has spent years teaching himself to bake artistic cakes (more on that below), which eventually led to opening his own custom cake business. (You can take a look at his cake portfolio on Instagram.)

Currently, Jones is working at a local bakery and getting ready for JWU. He’s on track to become a Wildcat this Fall, with a plan to get a degree in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food and Beverage Industry Management. He recently shared his own journey to JWU with us.

Tell me how you got so interested in cakes!

Will Jones: From a young age, I’ve always had like an appreciation for food. My uncle is a chef — he went to Kendall College and worked at the Ritz. And my parents also love food. We go to nice restaurants and so I’ve always like had that appreciation.

To get to cakes specifically … I started watching videos on YouTube of some YouTubers making cakes and I just thought it was fascinating. Because I’ve always loved art, and I like how I can combine the two [food and art] with my cakes. I can use quality ingredients and it tastes amazing, but then I can also make something beautiful.

“I just love to create — that’s really my passion.”
Will Jones '26 with one of his custom birthday cakes.

Tell me about the first cake you made.

So the first cake I ever made was awful. You could see the cake through the icing, and it was kinda lopsided. … It just wasn’t pretty. But I’ve Googled how to do things and I have evolved and learned. Just a lot also comes from practice!

And when did you start your own cake business?

Right now it’s on hold because I’m working at a cake shop. I had my business for about a year or two and it was going really well, but I wanted that stability of a job where I’m not my own boss. Maybe I’ll get back to that someday. I've been at the shop about six or seven months. And I’m learning so much and my boss is great.

Tell me how you first heard about JWU.

To be honest, I was looking from like a young age at going to Kendall just because my uncle went there. But then I really wanted the business aspects of [hospitality], too — I didn’t want to just do an associate degree. I was Googling different schools and I was really intrigued by the four-year pastry arts and food service management program.

And what led you to pick Providence?

I’m from Chicago, so I’ve always liked the snow. When I visited Providence, I just absolutely loved that campus. It was just beautiful — Harborside and the view. I came on a private tour with my family during the summer. I forget which hotel we stayed at, but in every direction, there were restaurants everywhere. There were so many different options, too.

The JWU tour guide was very friendly and helpful answered a lot of questions. It was just a great experience visiting the campus and the city.

What was your favorite part of touring the Harborside Campus?

(Harborside serves as the epicenter of JWU Providence’s College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT), which spans multiple buildings that encompass labs, kitchens, bakeshops, classrooms, and an amphitheater with a professional demo kitchen.)

When I walked in, I was just pinching myself, thinking about what it would be like to work in each classroom or lab. I was just blown away by the chocolates and the cake displays I saw — some student and some instructor work.

Obviously my focus will be baking & pastry arts, but I loved hearing about some of the other classes I can take. I really want to try some of the sugar sculpting and chocolate. I’m always eager to learn from different mediums and see how I can apply them to cake.

Baseball-themed cakes by Will.

How easy has the application process been?

Elena Doerrie, who’s my JWU representative, is just so nice. I’ve been talking to her about my experiences with [cake] decorating and she’s just been so helpful — from answering questions or just telling me I can send her pictures of cakes I make. I feel like I've gotten so much support during the process of applying to JWU.

“I really want to try sugar sculpting and chocolate. I’m always eager to learn from different mediums and see how I can apply them to cake.”

You’re just about to start your life as a college student, but I’m curious if you’re focused on a dream job or larger goal as you start life as a college student?

I’ve been looking at internships like what Ron Ben-Israel has; he’s a cake artist who also does these beautiful sugar flowers. Not that an internship would be my end goal, but I like the idea of different things to try out.

Hopefully one day I’ll either be working in a hotel or a bakery where I get to just do my own thing and get to really be creative.

For me, I don’t necessarily have to be in that business role, but I just love the creative aspect. If it comes with the business that’s okay too. But I just love to create — that’s really my passion.

Follow Will’s cake adventures on Instagram.

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