There’s more to obtaining an education in culinary arts than going through the motions and doing the assignments. In fact, if you’re passionate about the subject matter, you probably won’t stop at just doing what’s expected of you. This is especially true when you’re seeking your culinary certificate online. Your instructors won’t be there in person to lead the way, so you need to take initiative and make the most of your education. Here are a few ways that you can do this:
Get to know your instructors
It’s always beneficial to get to know your instructors early in your courses for multiple reasons. Introducing yourself allows them to establish a personal relationship with you, rather than seeing you as another name on a class roster. This relationship can expand past your time in their class as well, especially if you keep in touch post-certification. Many culinary arts instructors have connections in the industry and can be a lot of help when you’re looking for a position.
Talking to your instructors before you have a question or problem is also a great way to get comfortable enough with them, so you won’t hesitate to ask them for guidance when you need it. Too many people think of their instructors as the gatekeepers to their certifications, but they’re a fantastic resource for all different reasons.
“Organization is an important virtue for everyone.”
No matter what type of school you’re attending or what your profession is, organization is an important virtue for everyone. This is especially true of online courses. When you’re attending culinary school in person, it’s easy to leave behind the priorities of your day-to-day life and focus on what’s going on at school. When you’re cooking in your own kitchen, it can get a bit more difficult to separate those parts of your life. When you’re supposed to be preparing things for class, you may get sidetracked with a mess in your living room.
It’s important to stay as focused and organized as possible when you’re pursuing an online culinary certification so you can really reap the benefits of your education. Turn off your phone when you’re working on school projects, and hammer out specific times each week to tackle your schoolwork – and don’t borrow that time for anything else! A planner is a great organizational tool when it comes to juggling your personal, professional and academic life.
Talk to chefs
Whether you’re having discussions with your instructors or just striking up conversations with chefs you meet through networking events, it’s important to get to know the inside information when it comes to life in a kitchen. The hours are long and grueling, the pay may not be what you expect right off the bat, and professional kitchens are cramped and hot. Being involved in the culinary arts is truly a labor of love. In fact, many people in school for any type of degree or certification are blindsided when they enter the job market, because they don’t know how different the “real” world is from the classroom. You don’t have to end up that way.
Though taking your courses online doesn’t give you the experience of working in a kitchen alongside your peers, that doesn’t mean you have to walk into your first job post-certification blind. Getting some real-world knowledge in addition to the basics you learn in school is a great way to be prepared on all sides when you begin your job hunt.