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JWU entrepenuer dilemma

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
:mad: I am entering my sophmore year at JWU. I really dislike the school. None of the students I met have a passion for food, rather for partying, which I like, but food is better. I work as the head line cook. I do the head chef's job while he gets liquored up, but don't get credit as the chef, but thats cool, I want to deserve the title. The place is a fine dining restaurant. I learn much from work, but have yet to learn much in class "generally only learn on my own with books and what I can observe from my boss pretaining to more buisness oriented stuff " Im starting to learn less about food at work and more about writing prep lists, filling out scheduals and ordering. This stuff is all well and good, I need to learn it if I eventually want to be an entrepenuer...I am in the accelerated program at jwu but have yet to learn from classes "besides meatcutting...which is irrelevant as I dont ever plan on buying a whole beef carcass and breaking it down, I feel it is impractical this day and age"...regardless, my cost control class is coming up, which should teach me some needed info on ordering, What really bugs me is I am in right now for a 4 year program, associates in culinary and bachelors in entrepenuer. I was wondering if anyone has experiance or input on the entrepenuer classes, it sucks because the culinary program lacks so much at jwu, but I have to complete almost another year of it before I even get to the entrepenuer part, the classes I really desire....Ive considered dropping out or changing schools, but I have already completed a year and a quarter and think dropping out at this point would be impractical.
"Set the gearshift to the highgear of your soul...You've got to run like an antelope, out of control" ~Phish
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"Set the gearshift to the highgear of your soul...You've got to run like an antelope, out of control" ~Phish
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post #2 of 17
You can learn more from chaos than order. Be patient young friend.
post #3 of 17
Fish, there's really a lot to break down in your post but I shall limit it to this and hope you see the larger picture. As Kuan said you need to be patient, among other things.
You say that meat cutting is irrelevant because you don't plan on buying a beef carcass but then you're looking forward to cost control class. You will come to find that that statement is an oxymoron. You can control your costs more by breaking down your own items rather than paying someone else to do it. Never mind the "what ifs". What if the product you buy is bad, what if the purveyor goes out of biz, what if the item in unavailable, what if the pre-prepped item cost goes out of control, but you have a chance to get a great deal on an item but you are clueless as to the potential value because you don't know what to do with it.
"In this day and age " as you put it, things are being done for you at a record pace. You can buy precut onions, precut and mixed salads, precut vacuum sealed steaks, and you think you can get premium prices at a fine dining establishment with those items?
A million chefs came before you and all learned from the bottom up. That means sucking it in and listening to what is being taught and busting your butt. Even if you think it's irrelevant at the very least you may learn patience and temperment. If it sounds like I am busting on you it's because I am, if you drop out now or change schools you are running away. Because I can promise you you'll find a different set of problems at the next one and what do you do then. Personally I think you'll benefit immensly from the 4 year program. If you do you'll be amazed at what you've learned, and it won't neccessarily all come from a particular class.
I speak from experience. :chef:
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #4 of 17
Fish,
I am a recent graduate Charleston 2005. I can tell you I became somewhat frustrated in the first few months of class as well. I felt that I wasn’t learning what I was supposed to be learning. I spoke to my mother (I hope she never reads that I realized she was right and actually took her advice...LOL), and she informed me that learning is what you seek out of it, not necessarily what your told. So I began looking for the things I didn’t know, like the history of food, meat cutting, classical techniques rather than the shortcuts or more modern methods I had learned “on the lines” via my experience prior to school, why you do particular cooking methods scientifically, what functions certain ingredients play scientifically in recipes and the one thing I learned the most is how to motivate people who really didn’t give a crap. As you know most of the students are between 18-22 (this was my experience anyway), and like you stated they were more into partying than the educational aspect of what was going on. This was especially difficult when they were assigned to my groups in labs or projects. I learned how to work with people that didn’t want to achieve the same as me (i.e. and A on the project… etc) and how to motivate seemingly unmotivated people. These are essential skills on the job as a manger.
My advice echoes what has already been said, but hopefully will give you a different goal in school…to look for what you don’t already know, and create learning situations where you don’t at first see one. A degree from J&W will open many doors for you in the future, however simply attending class doesn’t open your mind to the education; you have to be receptive to the latent lessons that are there for the taking.
Good luck and let us know how it’s going.
Frizbee
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
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Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
post #5 of 17
All words of wisdom.
I'm not really sure what a degree in entrepreneur is. I can't bash JW. But I will say, if you feel like you're not being challenged then a move might help. Don't waste your money. In my day you got a bachelors in business.
I'm not sure, but it seems to be a myth that these schools can make you a chef and I would hope they are not touting they can make someone an entrepreneur. This industry has the highest failure rate for sole proprietors. The cause seems to be lack of business knowledge and bad advise from professionals not directly associated with the field.
I would never suggest a move in years past but things are changing rapidly. The old fashioned thinking of sticking with something and paying your dues can hinder a real gogetter. I find more and more you have to jump, take risks,and aggressivly move forward. No risk no reward. The only down side is the steps backward are more intense. I wasted many years putting in my time and paying my dues in this industry. Not all sucessful entrepreneurs come from the bottom up, in fact this is becoming less and less the case.
Please do not construe this as advise, I have no professional credits to give you advise and I don't know you.
Chrose, this is definately not directed towards your responce. I actually wrote this before reading yours.
I'm also assuming fishman has a definate goal in mind beyond just graduating from school.
gosh it's late :talk:
edited :rolleyes: crap, It seem I'm on the other side of the fence again. The story of my life. You might want to disreguard this post.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #6 of 17
Please don't take the following personally, it's meant to be constructive.

I saw the same things at J&W as you did (Charleston, 1995, also advanced standing). Somebody else is more concerned with partying? Their problem, not yours. Not learning enough? I had more than twice the experience you did going in and picked up plenty. It's a matter of pushing the instructors to teach you more; they have a curriculum they teach from that's designed with the average student in mind, not you. They will gladly teach you more if they know the interest is there, but you have to take the initiative. As I'm sure you must realize, these chef instructors know more than you. Tap that knowledge. Learn how to learn. After 23 years, I still learn things from my dishwashers. Develop that habit.

You've definitely got to get over deciding what is relevant and what's not. In my opinion, you don't have the experience to make that qualification. For example, your attitude regarding meatcutting would automatically disqualify you from employment in my kitchen. I don't want to have to explain to somebody that's had an education how to break down meat. I've already got one cook that can take a live steer or lamb and break it down from slaughter to steak; what would I need you for? Most new cooks these days don't know how to butcher meat; differentiate yourself.

Out of curiousity, what do think J&W should be doing differently? What are they not teaching you that you feel they should?
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #7 of 17
nothing should be taken personally here, right?
fish
After reading you post again, and 5 hr sleep, I thought you meant that you got a lot out of the meatcutting class even though it was irrelevant to you personally, maybe I misunderstood.
I'm sure culinary schools have changed in the last30 yrs. Back in the olden days most that attended were really passionate about food. These were not big institutions. They really weren't graduating options, they were something you sought out. Of course there was partying, but the goal was to gain a foot up going into the industry. We had some older persons using their VA benefits to get an education under their belts after returning home from service. Most of us were footing the bill, which is probably the biggest difference reguarding the partying and such.
Anyway, Fish. You want to open a business in Ireland, right? You know you need the education as a leg up as not to fail,right? Your main complaint with all that goes with this is that you really dislike the school your in, right?
I just want to tell you that no matter how old you are, you still have choices in life. You will make plenty of bad ones. You should not have to fight to pull out embedded experience from instructors whos jobs may involve a little babysitting, especially if you're paying. There are many places to get an education in this field, large schools, onj, armed services, smaller more private schools, community colleges etc.
The best of luck to you in your choices and your career,
Pan :crazy:
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
~~~~~~~~~~
"Set the gearshift to the highgear of your soul...You've got to run like an antelope, out of control" ~Phish
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"Set the gearshift to the highgear of your soul...You've got to run like an antelope, out of control" ~Phish
Reply
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
In my haste and frustration, every point I was trying to make was not properly conveyed in this post. Thanks just the same. In regards to the comment in meatcutting my instructor sucked. I am not saying there is no value in breaking down larger primal cuts! Im saying the class was focused on how to get those primal cuts from a carcass AND NOTHING ELSE. Its cool to be able to get a primal cut round from a carcass, but we didn't talk much about or see what is derived from the primals. We did very little breaking down of the primals which is what I wanted to learn more about. Secondly I firmly believe in NOT USING those products which are "preworked" such as the salad mix, very few of those products are useful, I mainly like things like the whole peeled plum canned tomatoes, in place of making concasse yourself! Thats about it. I reread my initial post and it makes me sound like an idiot, If I could write what I was thinking I wouldn't have a problem. No I do not believe a school can turn me into a chef or an entrepenuer, but I need the paper if I am going to have investors in any potential buisness I own. And lastly I do not decide whats relevant and what isn't because I know I am not qualified to do that, nobody is infact. And as far as learning goes, I am a freaking sponge and that is the only thing that got me the job I have now, I learned from my superiors and found more efficent ways to get work done and did it...I have too much going on inside my head to sound intelligent about these issues on a computer...
"Set the gearshift to the highgear of your soul...You've got to run like an antelope, out of control" ~Phish
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"Set the gearshift to the highgear of your soul...You've got to run like an antelope, out of control" ~Phish
Reply
post #10 of 17
If it makes you feel any better, I don't think you came off as an idiot, just someone who was in a little too much of a hurry. Your best bet it to take what everybody posted to heart and mix that in with what you want to do and your own way of doing things and things should work out just fine.
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #11 of 17
Glad to know this was mostly a common internet misunderstanding. The only piece of advice I could give you now is to try to direct your energy away from your frustrations with school and towards finding a solution; it will make your life less stressful. I think that by and large you will run up against the same problems whether you go to NECI, CIA, J&W or a community college culinary program. The only thing that changes from school to school is the price. Unless, of course, you go to Connecticut and learn under Cape Chef.

How much time did you spend in your meatcutting rotation? When I went through, meatcutting and storeroom were put together into a single seven day rotation, 3.5 days each. If J&W is still doing this, they need to re-think their advanced standing scheduling.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #12 of 17
Fish,
A lot of us encounter this thing of getting thoughts to the keyboard. I suffer from this in a big way. Is there a name for this? My mind goes way to fast for my fingers and time is soo short that I never reread before posting. Plus I CAN"T spell worth a flip.
I reread my posts all the time and think " what an idiot, I can't understand what I've already written!".
I can tell you that most of the readers hear are not critiquing the writer.
Anyway, never consider what others here think about you. I would of been out a here long ago if I felt that way.
Be a liver and not a sponge, let everything pass through and keep whatever relates to you or can help you.
Do more research on the value of that piece of paper pertaining to investors. I think you will be surprized.
Your obvious determained and focused on the goal. Thats the value.
Pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #13 of 17
Which campus do you attend? I attend the Charlotte campus and can tell you that there are those who are concerned with partying more than focusing on food, but alot of us are passionate about food. Ive noticed the more serious people are in the am classes. I was frustrated too but I chose to seek out those who have passion and desire and we always work together we schedule classes so we can continue working together each semester. Also Ive been in the buisness for five years and have learned that I can learn something from everyone and have learned plenty at JWU. Ive noticed that I learn the most when I volunteer for events, You usually get to work with product generally not available in class
post #14 of 17
"Ive noticed the more serious people are in the am classes"
Excellent point!
I bet it is because we were working at night, and couln'd do the pm or ppm classes.
Exellent point!
Frizbee
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
Do what you do with passion....the rest will fall into place..
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  ~Rev. Run
Our Lives are not in the laps of gods, but in  the laps of our cooks.
  ~Lin Yutang
Reply
post #15 of 17
Exactly!!!!! so what campus do you attend
post #16 of 17
HI,

I was actually thinking to take the entrepreneurial classes at JWU before until I saw the syllabus. The program didn't seem to have enough depth to the real world. Then when I compared with the business program at the community college, they actually have more specific classes for entrepreneurial program than JWU...and of course it cost way less than JWU.
Also sometimes you could find the program from the Small business Association (SBA), sometimes they have seminars or workshops regarding opening a business.
Do some research online, sometimes you could find other sources too.
Good luck.
post #17 of 17
anyone know anything about the J&W florida campus?
when life gives u lemons...
Squirt them over shrip
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when life gives u lemons...
Squirt them over shrip
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