Need info from anyone who knows where to find resources

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by ds41980, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. ds41980

    ds41980

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    Hello everyone,

    2 years ago I lost everything (house, money, health, etc....) due to terrible circumstances at previous job from which I was constructively discharged. Since then I have been slowly making my way back. I moved in with my grandmother and slowly got my health back and after one year and a half found a program for displaced workers here in florida that pays for training in a new career. My dream came true after years and years when I finally was able to don a white chefs coat and go to culinary school in here for a technical certificate. Here's the problem...my unemployment ran out and I am quickly running out of savings trying to keep my head above water for the bills I do owe. I managed to get a part-time on call job at a caterer but it pays less than unemployment and I am drowning. My fear is that I will have to leave the program to go to work full-time and I don't want that to happen. My dream is to graduate from culinary school and I am close to tears even thinking that I would have to give up my love. I interviewed at Disney and they seemed enthusiastic to hire me but they have a waiting list system and it could be 6 months before they call. Meanwhile I have applied for every culinary job that is part-time and most of them can not accomodate my schedule. One actually hired me then rescinded their offer because they didn't "realize" that I would need so much accomodating. I have to keep a full-time schedule at school in order to stay qualified for the program. So my question to you all is do any of you know of a way that I could maybe be sponsored or some type of assistance I could get just to keep my head above water until I finish? I looked at the assistance programs here and I don't qualify for any of them. I am not a teenager or pregnant or disabled. If anyone knows of anything please let me know thanks for your help and all the info. I also do not qualify for any type school financial aid because before my last job ended I was paying on that. Thank you.

    Cooking is my true love
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    159
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Talk to your school councilor pronto!

    That's your best source of:
    • financial aid
    • job opportunities
    • angels
    • mentors
    If it is not, you're in the wrong school!

    Talk with your instructors, they have contacts.
     
  3. ds41980

    ds41980

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    Well thank you for your reply but did you read my post? I have no choice in the school I attend because it was basically chosen for me from a list and after all the avenues I've taken to get help (including posting desperatley on here) don't you think the first thing I did was go to the school counselor to ask about a job at school or grant possibilities or anything? I don't know what you consider to be a "good" school but I took the only option that was available to me and I was lucky to get it. If I had the money to choose the best I wouldn't be on here asking for help would I? I am truly between a rock and a hard place and I need help.
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    159
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    My apologies, please forgive me for fumbling and offering useless information.

    Good luck.
     
     
  5. ds41980

    ds41980

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    Thank you for your apology. If you think of anything else please let me know it seems you've had a lot of experience. Thank you.
     
  6. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I don't know whether this will work or not, but sometimes the longshots pan out, and since winning a grant is not gonna happen, we gotta get creative.

    My idea would be more easily verbalized, but I'll try to be as comprehendable as I can be in writing.

    If I was in a desperate situation like this, I would try to work out a commitment deal.

    Armed with letters of reference (not form letter, but personal) from your instructors and anyone else of value, go to every viable potential employer, large and small, and sell yourself.  You'll need to offer to work for free for a period of time over the next couple weeks so that they can get a feel for what kind of person and worker they'll be getting.

    Here's what the deal would be:

    You'd work for them part-time now - the hours that your schedule allows, and then full-time after you graduate, for an agreed amount of time that makes sense given how much money you need.

    For example, you're committing to work for a year at an average of 45-55 hours a week, for a total of $20,000. That's following whatever the length of time you'll be working part-time, as you may not really be needed given the hours you're able to work while in school.  You're basically asking for a loan, that you're going to pay back through working for them, and consider the part-time hours now the "interest".

    You'll be upfront with them regarding how much money you need each month to pay your bills and stay afloat, and you'll get that from the beginning.  The length of the commitment can be worked backwards from the total "loan" and what you should be making per/week for that position.

    Unless you pay off the loan, you won't be able to quit.  And they won't be able to fire you without taking a loss on you, so they'll want to have some confidence going in, just like any lender would.

    As I said, it's a longshot - but if someone in your situation would come to me, and we went through a vetting process and I saw you being able to progress as a full-time employee, I'd be willing to do it.

    Some final thoughts.

    You're not going to be able to replace an outgoing cook - your hours don't allow it.  I think you need to get lucky and find a business that's growing, and hasn't yet taken the step to place an ad for an additional worker.  Some place that can take on your salary/loan, be able to utilize you during the hours you'll be available, and hope that by the time you graduate, they'll be able to handle you on a full-time basis.

    Good luck man!
     
  7. ds41980

    ds41980

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    OMG that is a great idea. Thank you so much. That is a glimmer of hope and I am going to start looking into it tomorrow. I am sure I won't have any trouble getting a reference and I am a terrific interview because I truly love this profession. Btw, I am of the female persuasion (no big deal). Thank you, Thank you! Also for that idea of the growing company.
     
  8. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    159
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    You might say that, while in college, and broke, I got a job as a short order cook in a cafe that opened at 10 PM and closed at 6 AM, yeah, you read correctly, basically the graveyard shift.

    It was located near a railroad division point, where freighter crews changed shifts between 10:30 PM and 2:30 PM and, of course, we got a lot of after bar traffic.

    It did not interfere with my class hours, just had to rearrange my sleep schedule and eliminate any social life for a year or so.

    Bakeries often start between midnight and 4 am and the shift end is around 8-10 am, that may not fit with your school commitment though.

    Also, look into school/institutional kitchens, they often start very early in the morning.

    Look into other types of work as well, night shift at a mini-mart/gas station, early morning shift at a donut house, nightwatchman, it doesn't HAVE to be culinary if it means staying alive!
     
  9. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    my "good luck man!" was meant to be more personal than just a "good luck".  So...let's just say the "man" part was a generic term for person /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif

    Hope and a positive attitude is good and very healthy, but be careful and just be mentally prepared for rejection and being flat-out dismissed.  What you're shooting for is out-of-the-ordinary, and while I'm sure you interview great and with tons of passion, there's a big difference between hiring someone you can fire at will, and hiring somebody with a commitment attached.  Yeah, the C word.

    I hope you get lucky real early in the process, but if you don't, don't let it get you down.  You only need 1 match.

    Maybe reaching out to former graduates and sourcing connections that way could be a good starting point.  The school office should be able to assist.
     
  10. ds41980

    ds41980

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    You are absolutley correct about the staying alive part. I have applied for jobs to the places you've said with no results. I'll keep trying. Culinary jobs are the only ones I can get because I have completed HACCP training and know so much about the culinary world that I ace the interviews if I get them. Problem is my hours. The bakery idea is good one. I am going to look into that tomorrow too. I am sure everything will work out I just have to try a little bit harder is all. There is no way I am giving up on school though I've come to far.
     
  11. ds41980

    ds41980

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    I know what you mean. I grew up in a single mom home. Very poor. I climbed out of that hole and was the first and only person in my family to get out of the system and make a good living for myself. That was years and years of trying and trying and rejection after rejection, because I was poor, because I was female, because I am in the minority etc. I can't tell you how many times someone looked me in the face or said to someone I know "she'll never make it." Ha whatever. Those experiences are what give me tenacity and the ability to persevere. I lost everything I had 2 years ago and yet here I am today on the path to a new career in a field I love. I kept looking and looking until I found a way. Now I've hit another rough patch and talking to good people like you has given me incentive thank you.
     
  12. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    159
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Illigitimus non carborundum!  (freely translated from my ancient HS Latin: "Don't let the ba$tards grind you down!")
     
  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    159
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    BTW, I would STILL bug the begeebees out of your school placement office, course, councilors, financial councilors, and your instructors, two or three times a day, if necessary, don't argue, just be persistent with the attitude that there IS something that will fit your situation.