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Need to prove something to my Mom. Employers please read

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'll give some background on me before I ask my question. My mom owns a Tavern that was built in the early 1800s that serves traditional American fare. I have worked there since i was 11 and cooked since i was 15. I was able to run the kitchen when i was 17. I wasn't the best back then but I have come a long way, i'm almost 21 now. Anyway, I'm a junior in college studying something unrelated that I'm not passionate about. My plan is to leave after this semester and go to culinary school in NYC or Boston to hone the skills i already have and to make myself more knowledgeable. 

 

Now my question to employers is this: Would you care that I didn't finish my Economics degree? My moms argument is that employers at high end restaurants will not hire me because I didn't finish my 4 year degree, even though i would have a culinary degree from an institution like ICE in NYC. 

 

I think this argument is ridiculous, but am I wrong? My argument is that all the employers care about is how good you can cook. And that if i can cook, i'll have no problem finding work, however she is not convinced. 

 

What are your opinions on this? Am i wrong for thinking like this? I figured someone leaving college taking a risk to pursue my career would be something employers would like, that I took a chance. Anyone with knowledge feel free to reply, thank you! 

post #2 of 13

She's not wrong. Just finish the degree, it's something to fall back on for one, and yes it does look better to be able to say you are a well rounded person with an education outside of culinary. and more importantly you are a finisher (hard to claim if you leave now). Yet another reason is that economics is useful, you will know a lot more about money and business than any other culinary grad. It seem monumental now, but trust me, four years is nothing. 

 

basically, and I mean this in the least patronizing way possible, just listen to your mother. 

post #3 of 13
Ive been a chef for well over. 30 years, i domt even have a culinary degree but I can definatly tell you that when as a chef you want to open a restaurant, and you will, the bank and any investers will see the positive in a 4 year degree in economics. So will you when your running it.
post #4 of 13

I'm 100% with your mom and the other writers. Your degree will be a gold mine in any occupation you choose.  A couple more years in your life time is a very very very small part of it.  Also, some employers might think you are a quitter for not completing something you started.

post #5 of 13
Just to give you an idea of where Im comming from, i have 2 restaurants, a large cafe with attached bakery and a lg service that does catering and from scratch lunch for almost 1000 students a day, plus an import and dustrubition company that brings in products from spain and soon Iran(dried fruit and nuts) ive learned my management and financial lessons in the school of hard knocks, and it was not pretty at times. Please complete your education, become an awsome chef an help bring respect and professionalism to our craft.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I appreciate all feedback so far. You guys are making me put things in perspective. 

 

My argument is that it doesn't make sense to pay 10,000 dollars more for a degree that i may not use. However maybe I should take some time off. Or possibly i could get a job cooking when i am at school, because all i think about is cooking when im in school. If i could go back in time i would get my hospitality degree, but i am too far behind for that. It sucks that i can't go back in time! My three options are to go to Boston University to get my certificate, go to ICE and get my diploma in NYC, or i could do a community college program. Or i could take some time off and come back to the university i attend. Any other feedback is appreciated, thank you all. 

post #7 of 13
My vote is to finish your degree in economics make good money using your brain not your back, and use your cooking skills to pick up girls. I could be trying to live vicariously though.
post #8 of 13

Yeah, definitely finish school. It would be one thing if you hadn't started yet, but being so close to finishing there is no reason to give up. Get a part time job in the best restaurant that you can find...even if you have to volunteer to stage there for free on weekends. This will help you get experience while you finish your BA.

 

Alternatively, if you are dead set on going to culinary school NOW, you can check out one of the numerous BA culinary arts programs offered throughout the country. Just remember, your degree is no substitute for experience and you will accumulate a large amount of debt doing culinary school. 

 

But, I would finish my degree then go to culinary school. And working in your mom's tavern is not the same as fine dining...and your experience as a prep cook/line cook/FNG will be a lot different than being the owner's kid. I wouldn't say she is right about top restaurants not taking you because of a lack of a degree, but she's right that you should finish. 

 

Like I said, get a job or a stage at the best place near you that will have you. Make sure you want to do this for a living before you go to culinary school. And for the love of god, get your BA so if you need/want out in a few years you aren't starting from scratch. 

post #9 of 13

I recommend finishing your degree.....but it would not factor in my decision to hire you.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #10 of 13

Economics is a pretty useless degree.  The only thing it is good for is for jobs that require a degree, any degree, like insurance sales.  However, should you decide later on in life that you'd like to go to graduate school, or law school, or get and MBA, perhaps nursing school, you will have a four year headstart on your new career.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for all the replies. My options would be to pay 30k for the program at ICE, pay 13k for a certificate program in Boston, pay 6k for a diploma at my CC, or go back to my university. Not sure what I am going to do at this point,  but you all have made great points. 

post #12 of 13

Since you are already a junior in college you should see if your credits transfer.  To get a two year AA in culinary arts you will need some gen. ed. classes which you should have already taken.  

 

You have a few options.  

 

You can take culinary courses at your CC while you do your econ degree.  So one class per semester and see if you like it while keeping a 12 unit load at the University.  Take two summer classes to make sure you're still on track to finish in four years.

 

You can take a hiatus and do 1.5 years at a CC and get your AA because you won't have to take the gen. ed. classes.

 

Finish the Econ. degree and go to grad school in hospitality management and take all the cooking classes you want.

 

Or something else?  Maybe quit the tavern and go find night time work at a fancy restaurant.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

Since you are already a junior in college you should see if your credits transfer.  To get a two year AA in culinary arts you will need some gen. ed. classes which you should have already taken.  

 

You have a few options.  

 

You can take culinary courses at your CC while you do your econ degree.  So one class per semester and see if you like it while keeping a 12 unit load at the University.  Take two summer classes to make sure you're still on track to finish in four years.

 

You can take a hiatus and do 1.5 years at a CC and get your AA because you won't have to take the gen. ed. classes.

 

Finish the Econ. degree and go to grad school in hospitality management and take all the cooking classes you want.

 

Or something else?  Maybe quit the tavern and go find night time work at a fancy restaurant.

The CC option is still out there, they are actually pretty highly regarded and offer a diploma, certificate, and AA. 

 

I plan to move to NYC or Philly eventually since im not too far from both. I'm just not sure if I should spend 30,000 to go to ICE or 13,500 to get a certificate at BU in Boston (if i get accepted). I feel like the connections in NYC will serve me really well. 

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