Internship Success Story: Katie Medina

 Wild Leaven Bakery is thrilled to celebrate the successes of our team members. Training our employees so they may acquire competitive baking skills is a joyful journey we have embarked since the start our business in 2012. These past few years, we have happily welcomed interns who need to apply or hone their baking skills they have learned through their school programs. This is our small contribution in ensuring a competitive continuity of excellent bakers in Northern New Mexico and beyond.  

In this internship success story, our intern Katie shares her internship experience at our Taos location. The responses were collected directly from Katie upon the completion of her internship in 2022. If you're interested or you know someone who may be interested in becoming our intern at our Taos or Santa Fe location, please submit an intern application here.


Katie Medina in the kitchen

     Katie Medina working in the kitchen at the Taos location of Wild Leaven Bakery 


Hi Katie! We're so glad you're here. Could you briefly tell us a little more about yourself?

Hello, my name is Katie Medina. I am the daughter of two wonderful parents, Clarence and LaVerne Medina. I currently live in a small town named Dixon, and it has always been my forever home. I go to college at Taos UNM to get my certificate in Culinary Arts, which I will be receiving at the end of this semester. I study many culinary endeavors.

My education is provided by my amazing instructor, Chef Karla Nardi. We have been examining many cultural foods around the globe and preparing their regional dishes. I am also taking a healthy baking class which is instructed by the great Chef Carole Levy. We have been assembling many desserts that involve natural ingredients and that are also vegan. I have always had a passion for baking and I am super blessed to be having this opportunity to have my internship at Wild Leaven Bakery and be provided my studies at Taos UNM.


How did you hear about Wild Leaven Bakery?

Before starting my internship at Wild Leaven Bakery, I would always visit my local Cooperative Market and came across the many delicious treats that they distributed. Whenever I had time to stop by the Dixon Coop, I had always purchased one of their many delicious variety of treats. My amazing instructor, Chef Karla Nardi, set up this wonderful experience of making me as the intern at Wild Leaven Bakery.


Why did you choose to intern at our Taos location?

I chose to be an Intern at Wild Leaven Bakery because I wanted to learn firsthand how intricate it could be to work at a Bakery. I also have a passion for baking pastries and wanted to go more in-depth on how to prepare them. I have also enjoyed their many pastries and pieces of bread and was very excited to be learning from where they originated.


What were your expectations upon starting your internship at Wild Leaven Bakery? Were your expectations met or else?

My expectations of being an intern exceeded upon starting my internship at Wild Leaven Bakery. I have gained so much knowledge about what it takes to either run a bakery or be employed as a professional baker. Everyone around me provided so much support and gave me clear instructions throughout my work experience. The entire work experience at Wild Leaven Bakery has made me more confident in the skills that I had already acquired.


What did you enjoy the most about interning at our Taos location?

I enjoyed working in a comfortable and delightful environment that was provided to me. Every work day that I went to, I was always excited to learn something new throughout the day. I also enjoyed preparing the pastries and being instructed by the wonderful staff/owners first handedly.


How has been your experience interning with us?

My experience of being an intern at Wild Leaven Bakery has been a positive impact on my culinary ventures. It has taught me the necessities and compassion you need to obtain when working at a professional bakery establishment. Overall, being an intern at this magnificent bakery has been a great opportunity, and I am so grateful that they gave me this outstanding chance to learn and grow.


Green Chile Cheese Sourdough Bread - Wild Leaven Bakery

           Our Green Chile Cheese Sourdough Bread only available at our Taos location


What's your favorite part about interning with us?

Although making the pastries surpassed my list as being my favorite part of interning at Wild Leaven Bakery, I have to say learning from other employees and/or owners has to be my favorite. Everyone made sure that I understood my objectives while being patient with me and making me feel comfortable learning. I also gained so much information that I hadn’t experienced before.


What would be the advice or recommendation would you share with future interns of Wild Leaven Bakery?

My advice for future interns at Wild Leaven Bakery is to be prepared to undertake hard work and dedication. Working at Wild Leaven Bakery has taught me to appreciate the amount of effort it is to prepare the wonderful baked treats we eat. At the end of my workday, all of the hard work that I achieved was valuable to my success. You will also obtain many necessary abilities that you need to know when working at a bakery.


What's next after your internship with us?

After my internship at Wild Leaven, I am going to be continuing to use the skills that I had acquired at this outstanding establishment. I am hoping to continue in the baking field as my future career as well. Interning at Wild Leaven Bakery has inspired me to continue my passion as a baker and to dedicate my skills to succeed in the future I want to create.


What would you do differently now that you're about to wrap up your internship at Wild Leaven Bakery?

There are so many new abilities that I have learned while working at Wild Leaven Bakery. I would use all those new skills that I acquired to do things differently. An instance would be the difference in preparing pastries from the ones I would have done before. Rolling them into their final forms is what I would do differently, solely because the proving stage would be more successful. It would also help when their ready to be put into the oven to bake.


What’s your favorite sourdough bread from Wild Leaven Bakery?

My favorite sourdough bread at Wild Leaven Bakery is the Chile N’ Cheese Sourdough Bread. This bread is great paired with their weekly soup that is up for sale. I also love the perfect amount of spiciness it gives off and how it's not overpowered by the rest of the ingredients. Growing up in New Mexico, there is never too much spice and I believe this bread captured it perfectly.


What’s your favorite pastry from Wild Leaven Bakery

It is very hard to only pick one pastry as my favorite because all of them are so delectable but I have to say that the raspberry tart is at the top of my list. This delicious pastry is so simple yet so tasteful. I love how Wild Leaven Bakery uses organically locally grown ingredients so I know that each pastry is crafted whole and pure. The mix with the raspberry and puff pastry is super delicious and is one of my favorite treats to snack on.


Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Katie. Congratulations on earning your UNM-Taos certificate in Culinary Arts. Wishing you all the best for your next chapter! 


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