Unable to Finish Culinary School

Joined May 12, 2015
Hi all!  I need some advice, hopefully from professionals and those in hiring positions.  I'm currently in culinary school, my first semester.  I'm getting a certificate, since I was advised that a certificate is all I would need, just wanting to work in a bakery (I'll happily work in a restaurant, but preferably a casual, family restaurant, nothing formal).  I love cooking and baking and I'd like to be a professional baker one day.  I have a class that's required to get a certificate and because of the day this class is offered (same time each semester), I cannot take it.  It conflicts with a religious day in my religion, and I cannot attend.  So basically I can take all classes but one for my certificate and not leave culinary school with a certificate.

My question to anyone who can answer: how important is having a degree or certificate?  I have no experience and am in school to help me get experience to get a job.  Will the fact that I took these classes count for anything?  I can't have a certificate, but I still did the work required.  The class I can't take is catering.  I'm paying for school myself and I really can't afford it.  This is a big investment for me.  Do the classes I'm taking count for anything?  I'm trying to make a change in my life so this is so important to me.  This is finals week so my advisor has been too busy to talk to me.  So until I can catch a few minutes with her, I thought I'd ask others, here.  Can anyone help me out, haha?  :)
Joined Aug 21, 2004
how important is having a degree or certificate? 
In my hiring practices, it is nice, but not important. I don't hire because of a piece of paper. I don't not hire because of a lack of a piece of paper. I am more interested in character, attitude, and work ethic. To me, those speak volumes; whereas a piece of paper is fairly mute. I went to culinary school with some people that I wouldn't hire in a million of years. I worked with some people that didn't go to school that I would hire in a nano second.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
I am going to go out on a limb here and say you are of the Jewish faith and the class is held on Saturday.

Or you are an adherent of the Church of the Holy Fluffernutter  and this is a convenient way to make excuses. 

      You are giving up too easily. If you have a genuine religious objection to the class schedule, the school should be and is most likely willing to work with you.  Forget your advisor who can't find time to see you on such an important issue. Go see the school administration. You are not the first, last or only one to have this problem. I am quite sure that if your school is a reputable one they have encountered this problem and have a way around it.  If the first person you talk to can't help, keep looking for the one who can. Find them. 

     If you are a student in good standing and are clearly fulfilling all the requirements in other classes, a religious objection should be able to be accommodated. There are numerous ways to help you fulfill the requirements of the class so you get your certificate. Get a part time job in a catering company or work on the school catering or……? 

Go talk to the school administrators and explain the situation. You are spending a lot of your own hard earned money to get a certificate which you are now giving up because of a simple scheduling conflict? 

So i envision two scenarios.

1. You tell the interviewer that when the going got tough, you gave up. 

2. You tell the interviewer you have the certificate. 
Last edited:
Joined Jul 28, 2001

" My question to anyone who can answer: how important is having a degree or certificate?  I have no experience and am in school to help me get experience to get a job."

    Katie, this comment bothers me. School can give you an understanding and technique of the industry, but it certainly won't provide you with experience. That will come from working the field. I'm not sure who advised you that all you would need is that certificate. Just not true.

I'm with @chefwriter   on this. Go see the administration. Don't ask why, tell them that you need to know when or where you will be taking this class with regards to your schedule.

  Your goal at this point is to get your foot in any door that will open for you. That's where you'll get the experience.

Best of luck to you and keep us posted.
Joined Apr 29, 2015
sometime it is true that we have to ...........

maybe you can do something you like but a majority of time you can,t .it is what life is 
Top Bottom