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Should i go to the CIA

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have been asking this question for 2 years now and i am still confused and scared about what should i do. If i have a passion for cooking has already been answered i am in a Culinary academy at my school we have won a national championship and i have worked in restaurants  since i have been 15 and i love every aspect of it but the thing that i am scared of is landing myself in a horrible position in after school. The reason i am considering this school is because it is next to my hometown of newburgh and i have multiple cousins that live in New York and New jersey that i can for sure fall back and i have won some scholarships for the school and i also had a free trip from the school to visit and i loved it but should i pull the trigger or should i choose another path. I am just asking for some insight if you could help me.

post #2 of 20

If you are offered a scholarship, by all means take advantage of it.  But then only you can decide that. If you feel you have it in your hands grab it.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #3 of 20

Don't be scared!! if you are getting a scholarship take it! stepping outside of your comfort zone can only make you better. From what I hear CIA has a very good career services department on campus and the externship program is amazing which could help you land an amazing job. The CIA is a huge network i suggest you pack up and go!

post #4 of 20

Let's see if I understand this correctly. You love cooking and have scholarships to one of the world's best culinary schools but you are scared of going because you may land a bad job after you graduate. That is how I read your post. 

What exactly is it you are confused about? If you love cooking, Go. Your fear is about what happens after you graduate? You have not even begun school yet. Don't get ahead of yourself. Getting through the two years of the school should be your next concern, not what may or may not happen after you may or may not graduate.  No one is guaranteeing you will graduate. According to your post, you have not actually been accepted yet.  Don't create drama where there isn't any. Let's see if you can get through school first.  

post #5 of 20

Yes... go.  You can always re-train as an engineer (or whatever non-culinary aspiration you may have) later in life.

post #6 of 20


I am not quite sure by your post if you mean should you go to CIA or choose another path to being a chef; or do you mean should you choose another career path?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Ok sorry for making it confusing for every one i have been accepted to the school. But the thing i am scared about is that i do have scholarships but it is not a full ride and i am reading all these horror stories of people are still in debt from school and i was just wondering of what some people think thank you and sorry for being confusing in the first place.

post #8 of 20

I may be dense, but which do you mean?

1.) CIA then culinary career

2.) no school and culinary career

3.) choose another career beside culinary

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #9 of 20

Thanks for the clarification. If you want to cook for a career, go to school. These days you cannot do anything with out getting some debt. But as any banker will tell you, there is good debt and bad debt. School loans count as good debt. Credit cards are bad debt. You can pick another career but school will be needed for that as well unless you opt for welder, plumber, electrician or something similar. And some schooling or training is often recommended for those trades as well. But first you would have to want that career. 

So if being a chef is what you want, then go to the CIA. 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

1 and 2 are the options chef layne i am sure that culinary is the career path i want to choose

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefgoni View Post

Ok sorry for making it confusing for every one i have been accepted to the school. But the thing i am scared about is that i do have scholarships but it is not a full ride and i am reading all these horror stories of people are still in debt from school and i was just wondering of what some people think thank you and sorry for being confusing in the first place.

 

You are right to be concerned and I think if you don't have the full amount, and if your not entirely sure if you want to run a kitchen the you should not go. What I would recommend is why not work in a restaurant save the money you need to go to school and once you have what you need then attend CIA. This would do two things. 

 

  1. Most importantly (in my opinion) keep you out of debt
  2. Give you 1-2 years to work in the industry and really have a better idea of if you want to spend the rest of your days running a kitchen.

 

 

The biggest mistake I see people make who want to attend culinary school is that they don't really understand the difference between "the love of cooking" and the reality of "running a kitchen". You should not attend culinary school unless you plan on "running a kitchen". This entails the following (none of which has anything to do with "the love of cooking")

 

  • Hiring and firing people
  • Scheduling and labor cost
  • creating menus that are profitable and demonstrate an understanding food cost
  • long hours away from the family and friends.

 

 

Just my two cents but don't believe the hype, school debt is no fun and really put a tremendous strain on you. CIA is great but not worth the debt in my opinion.

 

Congrats on the scholarship.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you i fully understand what you mean by "love for food" and "running a kitchen" my father and uncle and many other family members have ran a restaurant and i understand the pressure it could put on you and i have experience working just not for family but in restaurants such as cheese cake factory (of course only prep cook) and now working for a steak house and also running a restaurant in my high school which is open to the public and i really believe that i want to learn how to run a kitchen. I am also planning to mentor under my cousin who owns a restaurant in New York and he owns 3 right now and i think i could learn a lot from him. Thank you for the insight once again and more posts are welcome

post #13 of 20

To be honest with you with all your family connections I don't think you need the CIA or the debt. I would simply work at your restaurants, learn from someone like your cousin who seems successful (3X restaurants). You can always take classes later when you the cash. It might sound like your throwing away a scholarship but you aren't in my opinion if you are avoiding debt. Keep us posted.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #14 of 20

What do you think that you would get out of attending a culinary school?

 

What do you envision that it would provide to you?

 

I am neither pro nor con when it comes to attending culinary school. I think it comes down to the individuals and with many varied answers as to whether or not they should attend school.

 

 I attended culinary and had very specific reasons. What are yours?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #15 of 20

Nicko just gave you some very sound advice and in the same direction that I would be leaning at this point, but I would like to reserve my opinion until learning more about your reasons for culinary school attendance.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the help i am not done with High school yet and i am also competing again this year but I will provide you all with my decision of course if interested and one again thanks for the help

post #17 of 20

thanks for the article

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

has anyone ever gone to NECI because that is a school i am also thinking of that school

post #19 of 20

I got accepted to the CIA in December and couldn't be more excited, just getting 5 more months of experience is proving really hard. 

post #20 of 20

NO!!!!! learn from the ground up! everyone that goes to CIA comes out a whiney wimp! expecting everyone "below" them to scrub their pans and wipe their butt, not to mention you won't know how to handle the heat,and pressure of working the line..... and they dont teach you the direction YOU want to go they teach you the "french" direction and there is nothing wrong with that seeing as how my mentor is classically french trained and very well educated!!!!! BUTTTTTT!!!!!! thats just my opinion

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