How the Escoffier Alumni Association Can Transform Your Career Path

Explore why you should join the Escoffier Alumni Association, which includes access to mentorship, resources, and more!

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July 26, 2023 7 min read

When you choose to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, you might just be paving the way for an exhilarating career path through an immersive, educational experience! However, it could feel slightly isolating to embark on the journey alone, without a keen sense of community.

This is exactly why here at Escoffier, all students get access to our Alumni Association—a trusted environment that nurtures professional networking and peer-to-peer connection. Keep reading to get the inside scoop from Escoffier Alumni Relations Manager Kay Larson on what this engaged community can offer and why you should consider joining!

What Does the Escoffier Alumni Association Offer?

In a nutshell, the Alumni Association offers an online community for Escoffier alumni and students preparing for a professional externship. At its core, it’s a space to share resources and celebrate career wins with like-minded individuals! Inside the alumni platform, members can ask job-related questions, access a litany of resources, seek or offer mentorship, stay up-to-date with industry news, and more. But getting access to these valuable perks is just “scraping the surface.”

Escoffier students putting on their chef hats at graduation

Escoffier alumni and current students can access the Alumni Association.

According to Kay Larson, this close-knit community helps Escoffier students tap into real-life success stories that are meant to inspire—garnering that “warm feeling” from hearing good things.

“We want our students to see the continued value of their education,” says Larson. “And we want them to stay connected with the school. That’s the ultimate goal. We want you to see your value, and we want you to stay connected with us.”*

Larson also explains that since joining Escoffier in 2020, the community has grown exponentially and she continues to extend a warm welcome to new members. Currently, there are around 7,000 members who are part of the Escoffier Alumni Association.

Escoffier Alumni Association Tenets

  • Connect: Find and reminisce with fellow graduates, see what they have been up to, and stay in touch.
  • Give back: Introduce, employ, and offer to act as a mentor to our graduating students.
  • Expand: Leverage your professional network to get introduced to people you should know.

Along with fostering deep-seated relationships, Larson mentions that the alumni network also offers several additional features for members.

“It’s a really beautiful process that students go through. They get support the whole way through, from the student Success Coaches, Career Service coaches, and then the Alumni Relations team. What we’re really trying to do is support students even after they leave.”*
Kay Larson, Alumni Relations Manager

Access to Exclusive Directories

Members can tap into an online directory that’s filled with alumni and expert profiles who can help answer specific job-related questions and even offer exclusive job opportunities they can’t find anywhere else. Along with this, the association houses a “business directory,” intentionally created to support alumni businesses and spotlight opportunities with employer partners.

Leverage Library of Resources

If you fear that you might lose out on helpful career-oriented resources post-graduation, there’s no need to fret.

Members can take advantage of a bountiful library of resources that comes in a variety of forms such as documents, links, and videos. Resources are stored in category-specific folders that may include community how-tos, mentoring, entrepreneurship, job search, and workshop recordings.

Accelerate Your Job or Externship Search

Members can also tap into a “job search group” to explore different job segments like Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry, Food Entrepreneurship, Plant-Based, Holistic Nutrition & Wellness, Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management, and also discover relevant job leads.

If students are focused on landing an externship, soon-to-be grads can join an externship group through the association—an ideal space to connect with career services reps and fellow externs, plus ask any pertinent questions.

Match with Industry Mentors

According to Larson, the mentorship group students get access to when joining is irreplaceable. Not only does this component of the association benefit more “green” culinarians who are just starting a career, but also seasoned industry professionals who are looking to give back.

Larson herself directly contributed to enhancing the association’s exclusive mentoring group through a key relationship she’s nurtured since joining Escoffier’s mission.

“My proudest accomplishment would probably be the relationship that we have with the GLEAM network, a non-profit organization,” Larson says. “We provide the mentees and they provide high-level career mentors.”*

So how does one get paired with an industry mentor? Upon signing into the Alumni Association platform and filling out a user profile, members can select “I am looking for a mentor” in this section. Then, voila—the algorithm will suggest matches based on the information in their profile!

Members can also view potential mentors by the following:

  • Location
  • Job Function
  • Company
  • Industry

Chris McAdams, Escoffier Boulder Graduate & Chef Consultant/Research Chef“I have been an active mentor of the Alumni Association and I’m always willing to participate. Youth are always the next generation of everything that we’re going to do so it’s important to maintain relationships with them.”*
Chris McAdams, Escoffier Boulder Campus Graduate & Director of R&D, Culinary Culture

Elevate Your Personal Career Goals Through Collaboration

Larson expresses that she’s been fortunate enough to witness a vast number of success stories inside the Alumni Association and reflects back to a heartwarming collaboration she’ll never forget.

“We had a more senior student who would facilitate dinner once a week for that group of vets. He went to culinary school, but this initiative was a lot for him. He was tackling complex menus,” she says. “He just needed someone to help him plan. So we were able to partner him with another veteran, an Escoffier grad, who actually had experience cooking in an assisted living community.”*

Chef wearing an apron sitting at a table speaking with his mentoree

Collaboration is a valuable part of a mentor-mentee relationship!

Larson goes on to mention that this specific mentor knew a lot about nutritional portion sizes for that particular group. So they were able to work together to come up with a really acceptable menu that the mentee could facilitate on his own easily. She explains that this type of collaboration was extremely impactful for both the mentor and mentee. In fact, the mentor had such a positive experience that since then, he’s guided several other members of the group.

Find a Sense of Belonging at Escoffier Alumni Association

Needless to say, it’s vital to establish a support network when you embark on your culinary journey and continue to keep a tight pulse on the industry—especially after graduation! Larson can’t emphasize this point enough.

“When you’re in school, you’re in the thick of it—you have your homework, you have your live sessions, your discussion boards, and it’s easy to keep your head down and keep going. And then when you look up, it can be kind of lonely. You might not have that tight-knit community in a classroom,” Larson says. “But by joining the Alumni Association, you never lose that. You get to continue those relationships in the culinary industry, which is huge.”*

To join this flourishing community, head over to the Escoffier Alumni Association, create an account, and sign up today.

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*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

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