Work and School

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Joined Feb 18, 2011
Hello All!

I have plans to enroll in culinary school in the fall, and, obviously would like to work so as to not have to live in a box :)

My question is, for those of you currently in school, what sort of work hours have you had? 20-30? 40+?

For those of you not in school, what was your experience work-wise while in school?

-Nate
 
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Joined Dec 17, 2009
I worked 15-20 hours/week when I attended school full-time. I worked 35-40 hours/week when I attended school part-time.

Rent a room instead of an apartment. Eat at the soup-kitchens and missions. Shop at the thrift-shops and dollar-stores. $ave.
 
1,447
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
would be starving if I hadn't moved in with a fairly successful friend...got a lot of bites but haven't landed a job
 
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christian holmes

Guest
Currently working full time (40 per week) in a fairly involved kitchen/deli job. On the other side of town. I'm going to school full time (4 intense hours per day, 5 days a week).

It's not so hard to keep up the all-day energy blowouts during the week. The problem is that my days off are not on the weekends, and so I never feel like I have a day to breathe.
 
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christian holmes

Guest
The California Culinary Academy in SF. How about you?
 
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Joined Apr 15, 2011
hello, i have been working around 35-40 hours a week for the past two years during college alone. i am not in culinary school i was only getting my generals done.

i also worked around 30 hours a week during high school while playing 3 sports all 4 years. (i only worked weekends during wrestling season though)

its possible to work alot. im at a standstill between going to culinary school since i already have 5 fabulous years under my belt as being in the restaurant business. i dont know if it is worth it to go.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
Christian Holmes: I'm not currently enrolled, but plan to attend Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago.
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2010
Right now I'm working 40 hours a week as an overnight baker (12-8am) and going to school part-time. It's difficult and tiring (even if I'm going part time), but I feel I'm really working towards my goal. My social life has completely vanished because of it but I like to think that it won't be like this forever..hopefully :p
 
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Joined Mar 30, 2011
I work between 40-55 hours a week at the restaurant I'm currently at while attending school 5 days a week 8 hours a day.  It is beyond stressful but I handle it. I have worked 70-80 hour weeks most of my adult life.  To me it is imperative that I continue working and honing this craft while attending school, otherwise I do not see the point.
 
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Joined Mar 30, 2011
Right now I'm working 40 hours a week as an overnight baker (12-8am) and going to school part-time. It's difficult and tiring (even if I'm going part time), but I feel I'm really working towards my goal. My social life has completely vanished because of it but I like to think that it won't be like this forever..hopefully :p

It is gone forever, lol... Sorry, the pessimist in me. I am in a similar position, though I'm in school full-time.  Between full-time work, school, and all of the local and community events that I take on through the school I barely have time for anything.  
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2010
I'm going to school at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. I work as a baker for Whole Foods. Fortunately I'm in one of the few "from scratch" bakeries at Whole Foods. A lot of them use par baked breads and mixes for their cakes. We don't, so I'm actually learning something - which is what I wanted when I took that job.
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
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Joined Oct 5, 2001
I worked part time on the weekends,  but during the week I was completely focused on school. To tell you guys honestly if I had it to do all over again I would not of gone to school I would of worked full time for a really good chef. When I say really good chef I don't mean Charlie Trotter or someone on that level. What I mean is someone who is willing to take you under their wing and teach you the basics (stocks, sauces, cooking techniques) and how to run a kitchen. As for learning about cost control and sanitation I would simply taken just those courses which you can do at most school. Many of  the classes you take at culinary school you never use at all. Just my two cents. 

One other option is to forget school and do two jobs which is what I did. Work in the morning at a butcher shop for a few hours and learn how to butcher meat properly and get paid. Then at night work at a restaurant. I did this for a while and found it much more beneficial. I worked at an ice house learning ice carving in the morning (3 days a week) and then worked at night in the restaurant.

Taking school out of the equation does many good things in my opinion. One, you save a ton of money. Two, much of it you can learn on your own with the same books you would use at school and working in the real world. Third, it really helps you understand early on if you want to actually be in the restaurant business and live that life and put that life on your family.
 
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