Life as a Culinary Student: Ready for the Real World

Life as a Culinary Student: Ready for the Real World
From, by Institute of Culinary Education


By Lizzie Powell—Student, School of Culinary Arts & Culinary Management


Before coming to culinary school, I was convinced that I wanted to work in a kitchen every day. But as school went on, I discovered more about myself and realized that while I loved being in the kitchen, I was really enjoying my Culinary Management classes. So for a time I began to see myself working in restaurant operations, but then I started leaning back toward the idea of kitchen work. While this may seem indecisive to many, I think it's a natural process that many people entering the food industry go through. The beauty of the culinary world is that you can try many different roles throughout the course of your career.


After much internal debate and speaking with my instructors at ICE, I decided that the best place to start my culinary career was in a kitchen. My reasoning is that no matter your long-term career goals in the culinary world, working in a kitchen will give you incredible insight into the industry as a whole. I know that even if I end up in a front-of-house management position, my hands-on kitchen experience will make me a better and more valuable employee, as I will fully understand both sides of restaurant operations. With this in mind, I set out to select an externship site for the final part of my program at ICE. 


Read on to learn about Lizzie's experience trailing for externships and how she chose her externship site.