June 18, 2013

“Shadow” a Student

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By Stacy Hoelting, Culinary Arts Student

As a prospective student of the Auguste Escoffier Culinary Arts program, I was very eager and curious of a typical day of a culinary student. Unlike many culinary students, I had never worked in a restaurant environment before and had no previous experience. I think this lack of experience had made me even more nervous and curious for the program. I kept asking myself questions such as: “Will I be totally lost in the kitchen?” “What if everyone else knows so much more than I do?”

To ease this curiosity and anxiety, I decided to take advantage of one of the greatest privileges that Escoffier has to offer, which is a “shadow day” of a student in the program of interest to the prospective student. The prospective student attends a full day’s educational program with a current class, giving the prospective student a chance to view how the class is taught and the responsibilities expected from each current student. When I took part in the “shadow day,” I was able to interact with the students and even eat the lunch that was prepared by the students. I also realized, from talking with the current students, that many did not have previous restaurant experience, but felt that having previous experience is actually unnecessary for success within the program.

Being able to view the program and how the students work and interact with the Chef Instructor gave me an added confidence to continue with my application into the school. I felt that the shadow day put an end to all of the anxieties and nervousness I was feeling about my lack of experience, and I was able to really be excited to join and interact within the program like the students I had just shadowed. I would highly recommend this service to any prospective student, as it is a great way to learn more about the school as well as inspire the hunger for culinary knowledge.