Working A Summer Job In The Culinary Industry
Most culinary programs last anywhere from six months to two years in length, while hospitality or restaurant management degrees can go all the way up to six years for an advanced degree. Depending on whether you attend full time or part time, this might mean a heavy school schedule or a more relaxed learning style at your own pace.
If you take a longer, degree-style program, chances are you’ll be faced with some kind of time off. In fact, traditional colleges and culinary schools provide a summer break, which can last up to three months in length. While some students use this time to recover from a strenuous academic load, others use it as a chance to gain real-world cooking experience—and to beef up their resumes at the same time.
Summer Jobs in the Hospitality Field
The good news is that temporary and summer jobs in the culinary industry are actually fairly common—especially during the popular summer months. You can find work in an amusement park, a hotel at a popular vacation destination, or a restaurant in a high-traffic area (think beach side communities). And because these companies hire specifically for the busy summer, you don’t have worry about letting them down when you leave in the fall.
Of course, not all the jobs are as glamorous as they sound. While it might seem like a huge luxury to work as a prep cook on the Florida coast, just a few feet from the beach, it’s still work. You will probably spend more time catering to the tourist crowd than you will soaking in the sun and sand, so don’t get your hopes up too high.
Drawbacks of Summer Work
Because the work is seasonal, cooking jobs in the summer tend to offer some pretty strenuous working conditions. Outdoor jobs often come with an abundance of sun and heat, and you might end up working long hours a cruise ship buffet to make sure everyone gets fed.
You also have to bear in mind living costs. If you’re relocating to take advantage of a good summer hospitality job, you’ll need an apartment and food, as well as transportation. Some companies provide on-site facilities to draw in talent, while others might leave you to come up with your own arrangements.
Benefits of Summer Work
Of course, with the right training, a summer hospitality job can be your ticket to great employment as soon as you graduate from culinary school. So much of standard culinary education has to do with theoretical cooking skills that getting out there and experiencing the fast pace of actual restaurant activities can round out your resume and make you more appealing to employers.
Depending on where you work, you might also learn additional skills like finance or management—the types of things that take a culinary degree to the next level.