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9th-Feb-2007 12:31 pm
Hi everyone! I'm looking into the baking & patisserie program at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, and I was hoping that I could get some honest opinions about it here. I have no professional experience in the hospitality industry, but I love baking as a hobby and am considering a career change. How wise would it be for someone like me to enroll in culinary school? Is it better to have experience going into school, or can you really start there like the admissions people say? What do you wish someone would have told you before you made the decision to go?

I'm just trying to get as much information as I can, and I would really appreciate hearing about everyone's experiences, good, bad or indifferent. Thanks so much in advance!
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9th-Feb-2007 11:39 pm (UTC) - Re: my two cents.
I am definitely concerned about the fact that I don't really know what I'm getting myself into, and I appreciate your advice about looking into the job market. It's been difficult to get a grasp on reality when the people I talk to from the school make everything sound just peachy. Thank you so much for your feedback!!
10th-Feb-2007 02:40 am (UTC)
i too basically changed careers when i came to the p&b program here in portland but i also had previous experience in restaurants. i agree that you don't need to have any kind of previous work experience but that having it would help. also, keep in mind there are a lot more avenues, that you might not have even thought of, that will open up to you. most people just think of two things work wise when thinking p&b. restaurants and cafe/bakeries. but there's also resorts, bed & breakfasts, supermarkets, catering, candies, cruise ships and more. and here in portland jobs are difficult to find but i believe that's because portland is supersaturated with restaurants and culinary people. and even if you don't decide you want to stay in the industry cooking/baking, the knowledge and contacts you'll make here will help in other fields.

good luck with whatever you choose to do :)
10th-Feb-2007 05:17 am (UTC)
More good advice--thank you!
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12th-Feb-2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your comments. It really helps to hear it from a student's perspective because I have only been talking to the admissions rep., who of course makes everything sound fabulous. I am definitely going to give this a lot of thought before making a decision!
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