Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Print Out the Resume and Iron the Chef Coat, Because its Career Fair Here at The CIA

Career Fair here at The Culinary Institute of America is like Disneyland for up-and-coming chefs. Over one hundred employers looking to hire CIA students to travel all around the world and do what they do best: Cook! Employers at the CIA career fair are here to hire externs about to leave for their fifteen-week, mandatory externship or students who are about to gradate and looking for potential jobs. Major companies like The Four Seasons Resort, The Ritz Carlton, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and many more prestigious companies wanting to hire you!

Nestle Corporation Looking For Externs

The Career Fair is all about marketing and putting yourself out there. Companies love when students like you and me come to their booths and ask questions pertaining to them. I found my externhip at the Spring Career Fair here at The Culinary Institute of America. I will be spending fifteen weeks soaking up the sun in Palm Beach, Florida at The Four Seasons Resort.

Before even showing up to career fair, make sure you:
1. Have at least five professionally written resumes printed out.
2. Have a freshly ironed chef jacket or throw on a tie for business causal.
3. Are ready to be yourself. Companies don't want to hire a fake person. They want someone with a personality who can get the job done.

Students Talking To Future Employers

When I walked up to The Four Seasons booth at the career fair, I stated my name, what program I was in, and how much I knew about The Four Seasons. Companies love when students do history on them before you even step through the doors, it shows that you're dedicated and are willing to put in work to get the job. If I can give you one piece of advice to take away from his entire blog, it is to send a thank you letter. The thank you letter can either make or break the deal, if you send one you look professional and that you care, if you don't then it could show that you're not grateful and do not have time for them. Career fair is exhausting, stressful, and makes you go crazy, but the moment you receive the call from the restaurant, hotel, or theme park stating that you were offered the externship position it is all worth it.

Summer Career Fair 2015 

As I walked around career fair, I interviewed a CIA student, Crystal Mitchel, She is a baking and pastry student who is halfway through her second semester here at The Culinary Institute of America. Crystal leaves for externship the last week of September, so this is the perfect opportunity to find a potential externship site. She had an interview with Walt Disney Theme Parks, and I asked her "How was the interview and what kind of questions did they ask you?" She responded, "The interview was stressful and they asked me how to make crème brulée and chocolate mousse." She also said, "They asked me if I had to create a kid-inspired dessert, what would it be?" The interview process can be stressful and frightening, but just remember to answer every question to the best of your ability and you will be fine.

Chef Egan and I Setting Up The Buffet For Employers 

I thought since I was going to write a blog about career fair, it would be great to know some qualities externship employers look for. So I did some digging and went to many different booths asking the same question: "What do you look for in externship candidates?" I received a lot of different answers:

  • Biltmore Estate looks for good eye contact, good smile, and has done research in the company before coming to career fair. 
  • Royal Caribbean hires baking and pastry, culinary, and front of the house externs. Externs must be strong, be able to work seven days a week, have loyalty, and have passion for what they are doing. 
  • Marta, a restaurant in downtown New York City hires baking and pastry, culinary, and front of the house. Externs must have a positive attitude, willing to learn, and wants to have fun while working. 
  • Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa hires baking and pastry, and culinary students. Externs should be friendly, cooperative, motivated, and want to develop skills to move up the latter.

Jose and I Helping Chef Egan Every Chance We Get

The Career Fair here at The Culinary Institute of America is a global marketing tool that can land you in any city, state, or even country in the world. Take advantage of Career Fair when you become a student at the CIA; it is an opportunity you will not want to miss. I am truly grateful for the CIA and everything they do to help better my future in this amazing culinary world. I would not be externing at The Four Seasons Resort if I was not at the CIA. And, remember three things, print out the resume, iron the chef coat, and write the thank you letters.

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