Please Help

Joined May 22, 2004
Hi everyone, Been lurking for a while and finally need to ask a question and was hoping you can help. I have been excepted at both Orlando Culinary Acadamy and Florida Culinary Institute, but I am having trouble making a decision. OCA is about $5k more and seems to have less when it comes to F&B Management. FCI seems to have the better class experiance and they seem to want to help out more. (housing, Fin. Aid) and they don't seem to be blowing as much smoke. ;) I guess what it boils down to is I'm 28 have worked in the restuarant business in the past (3-4 Years) and what my goals are right now are to get my 2 year degree, working my way thru and working about a year after in a hotel, resort, cruise ship for the experience and then I would like to work in europe for a while to gain some more experience with international cuisine. I haven't decided about a BA or not yet. My end goal would be to own my own place whether its one or 50. So for my question Which program would do better for what my goals are. Any help would be appreciated whether its from someone who has attended either of these or from someone who just has a good opinion, I can use all the help I can get. :bounce:
Thanks everyone Bigbyrd
Joined Oct 28, 1999
I am not familiar with either of the two programs, however I think you answered your own question. When you said "FCI seems to have the better class experiance and they seem to want to help out more..." you really spoke volumes. If they seem more supportive, that is a huge benefit that should not be dismissed. For instance, when selecting a school, just a few of the criteria I would look at mouw be: how much career placement assistance are they going to offer? They way to find out is to ask to speak with a recent graduate. Also, what percent of their grads are working in the field 1 year, 5 years after leaving the school? On average, how many job offers do their students receive?
Last week, Time magazine ran a GREAT article that discussed culinary schools and the demands of industry; Johnson & Wales and CIA were specifically discussed as having a very high rate of industry placement for their grads. They also mentioned that culinary schools are starting to gain noteriety as schools to go to immediately after high school, not just for second-career folks. Which leads me to believe the industry is demanding more and more manpower.
Hope this helps. Good luck with your career plans!
Joined Jun 13, 2004
So Bigbyrd, did you decide to attend OCA or FCI? I'm considering one of those also and since it's been a couple weeks, am wondering which direction you decided to take. If you've even made that decision, that is. :D
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