or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › General Culinary School Discussions › Full time work AND culinary school
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Full time work AND culinary school

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi..

I am 29 and work full time at a great job with great pay, sadly it just isn't for me. Can't sit down all day.

Long story short, I am finally able to make the jump to what I have really always wanted to do. I have worked in many restaurants and have always loved it. Before I make it an absolute career change, I do want to go to culinary school.

Right now I am the sole income in my household, so I can't just up and quit my job. I found a school that offers night classes from 5pm to 10pm. Problem is it's 5 days a week.

I currently work 40 hours a week, so basically, if I go ahead with this, I will for the next 14 months be working and attending classes from 8am to 10pm..never mind needing the time to get to work and then home from class. Basically 16 hour days...7am to 11pm

Is this ridiculous? Am I asking for a burnout? Has anyone else here done this and if so, what was your experience?
post #2 of 11
I know of a Jamaican fellow who had a similar 'situation" like yours. here's what he did

He quit his day time office job and is now a student and an employee at the same school. when he is done with one class, he immediately jump into washing dishes/cleaning the kitchen. i admire him very much.

is that what they call "kill two birds with one stone?":confused:

kind regards
post #3 of 11
Only you can determine if it is ridiculous. Is it burnout? More than likely, yes. For most people, yes. Also, you are adding stress to yourself and your family as they won't see you.

As an admissions rep, I have heard many people say that they can handle it but the reality is that they can't physically or mentally handle it.

Which school is this? If it is an LCB school (which I presume it is based on the schedule), they won't be flexible with your schedule. Is there a way you can do this on a part-time basis? Where do you live by?
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey Dilbert...
Not asking for the easy life...but as the poster above you mentioned, 14 months of 16 hours days means my family who I support, won't see me.

Worked in kitchens before and not even that was 14 months straight of 16 hours days.
----------------------------

The school was St-Pius in Montreal. 'Cause it's a government mandated program (also funded by the gov.), there is no option for part-time.

I just got an email from the principal and she said that all the people there are in the same boat, so I might give it a go. I'm on the waiting list right now, so no decision has to be made just yet.

As for quitting my office job and finding something like the Jamaican guy, no can do. I need my salary. Like I said, I am completely supporting someone now while they are in school, so unless we want to give up food and shelter, it's do 16 hours a day, or wait another year until she's done school and can support me.
post #5 of 11
With you being in Canada, there may be regulations I know nothing about but since you are familiar with the kitchen, have you targeted any local restaurants for free work/apprenticeships?

I have had students with no experience work for some great restaurants but the caveat was that they worked for free. It wasn't a 40 hr a week thing. Maybe 6-10 hours a week. Perhaps if you volunteered your time to a restaurant for 1 weeknight and a weekend day, perhaps you can get the on the job training. If they found you to be worthwhile over time, they might even offer you a paid position.

It's mostly about getting your foot in the door. However, formal education could also be a good thing for learning the right way along with having a higher likelihood of upward movement. It is all about working within your situation.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
post #6 of 11
Before you even consider whether 16 hours days are right for you, I'm a little concerned about your reason for leaving your current job:

"Can't sit down all day."

Not for nothing, but food service isn't exactly a field where you get a lot of axx-to-the-chair time. You'll be on your feet all shift, or enough of it as to make no never mind.

So, if being on your feet all day is a problem, maybe you should be considering a different alternative.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #7 of 11
I did just that when I did culinary. It was 8 hours plus 8 hours of school. At that time it was just me, no family to support.

St Pius is a great school! I have worked with some studentd from there.

My advice: if you want it, go for it. If you start to burn a little, remember to make the time count when you have it!

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

Reply

Jason Sandeman

http://jasonsandeman.com

Developing Systems So You Can Cook

Reply
post #8 of 11
Since chef in business averages 10 to 14 hours a day and its for life . You decide, you wont see your family then either, in addition starting salaries will be much less then what you are making now. Plus schools cost a fairly good amount. You are only one who can decide this after sitting down and talking it all out with wife.:chef:
CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
...actually it's quit the opposite, I "can't sit down all day" meaning I don't like to sit in a chair. I am an on my feet kind of person, so being on my feet is actually a bonus. But please don't think my 5 line summary is a sufficient explanation to me wanting to leave my present job. There is a caveat of reasons, and one of them just happens to be me not loving the office life.
------------------------------------------------

As for the apprenticeship, great idea and I have started looking into a few leads. I think my conclusion, thanks to everyone's helpful advice, will be to work for free a couple days a week in a kitchen, get a feel for it, and if it does in fact turn out to be something I enjoy, then in January I might start my 14 month evening course program. It will be the hardest 14 months of my life, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
post #10 of 11
I really don't know what a 14 month course would get you. I would see if I could work and mentor under a Chef Thur, Fri, Sat nights. You could learn more under him/Her than in any 14 month course. You need to learn real word stuff, not the 75% basics you'll learn in school......................The only thing you will be after grad will be a fry cook... You still can't support your family on that wage.......................This way you could still be home 4 days a week ...............and after 14 months of that, you will know something........................Bill
post #11 of 11

oh its hard

I currently attend culinary school part-time and also work in a kitchen full-time(well actually more like 55+ hours a week) and all I have to say, it is hard as, but if you have the will, you will find the way. Once before I worked two full-time jobs(both hardcore kitchens) and went to school part-time. I had to drop school, because i was unable to maintain that schedule. I hope everything works out for ya.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › General Culinary School Discussions › Full time work AND culinary school