Seriously, I’m not joking. Tomorrow is my first day of the American Bounty Restaurant – Front of the House. First day we take a quiz which will test our knowledge of the menu. Besides knowing all the starters, soups, salads, entrees, and desserts that are on the menu, we are also responsible for knowing wines, beers, scotches, whiskeys, gins, rums, and bourbons. And that’s exactly why I wish I would’ve been a drinker – I would have some sort of pre-existent knowledge of the alcohol. Instead, I have to memorize the entire list, trying to keep the scotches away from the whiskeys, and gins away from the bourbons. Back to studying!
Today, September 25th marks the official end of my kitchen classes at the CIA – the checkered pants that have been a pain in my waist for so long are in the trash, and so is the apron that has been bleached over and over again and yet still has the grey stains from the aluminum steel that is so prevalent in our kitchens.
Today marks the end of paper toques, burners that don’t work, greasy sheet trays, and mismatched pots and pans. I’m hoping it is also the end of slicing my finger and going to the emergency room to stop the bleeding, or burning my arms in a 400F oven. But sadly it is also the end of experiencing and learning from some great chefs and instructors.
What’s next? Over the next three weeks – my LAST three weeks at The CIA, I will be taking Front of The House class, working in the dining room of the American Bounty restaurant, which kitchen I occupied over the last three weeks. With a smile and a notepad, I will take food and drink orders from our customers and deliver their food in a timely manner. I’ll be a waitress!!!
I have my second interview on Monday. This time it’s in Newtown, CT (one hour away from the CIA) with Fine Cooking magazine. It’s a bit funny – last year when applying for externships, I sent out my resume to Fine Cooking, but the timing didn’t work out, and I went to Des Moines. The Fine Cooking magazine did however remember my resume – apparently working for the Federal Reserve prior to joining the CIA stands out 🙂
I’m looking forward to drive to CT and seeing the test kitchen of the magazine and meeting with the editorial team. And this time around I actually have appropriate business casual attire to wear to the interview. Erica is so proud 🙂
I’m getting somewhere – or at least Springfield, MO. Last week I flew to Springfield for a job interview with Noble – a food marketing company. It was an experience, to say the least. There’s something about me and the small midwestern towns. One of my friends remarked that Springfield will make Des Moines seem like Chicago – that says something.
Anyway, it was a good practice for future interviews. The company made me an offer for a job. They are working on a job description, and we have agreed to talk in a few weeks when I’ll be done with school to schedule a second visit to Springfield to allow me to see the town.
I am happy to say that I have been productive in applying for jobs.
I sent out quite a few resumes and cover letters to the perspective employers, and followed up with emails. Also, I have sent my information to some of the CIA alumns in the food publishing industry in hope of finding out job opportunities. I also sent my information to the externship/internship contacts thinking that if they offer externships to the CIA students, they might also have full time positions.
And now we wait.
Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. A few weeks ago I created a vision board (so Oprah!). I had some magazines that were collecting dust on top of my dresser and rather than tossing them out (or better yet leaving them there to collect even most dust) I decided to go through the magazines and cut out words of inspiration for my new job search.
I’ve got to say, it was a very productive exercise. In a way, it has forced me to really think about what it is I am looking for in my new job. I decided to do a strictly word vision board – no photos. I organized the words by categories:
*Job Characteristics – physical, emotional, etc.
Some of the words/phrases included are:
*Freedom of Expression (from the Botox advertisement)
*The Cool Factor (from the Wine Cooler advertisement)
and many more – I may try to take a photo and post it here.
It looks great, and my hope is that by looking at the board on regular basis, I will be reminded of what I am looking for in a job and be inspired to search, search, search.
A few days ago I got a call from the Financial Aid Office – in the middle of my class. A bit panicked, I picked up the phone to find out why they were contacting me – as far as I was concerned, I was fully paid through the last two classes at the CIA and no longer owed anything to the school.
Turns out, that for once, the school wasn’t asking me for money, but were giving me a scholarship! As a student with the highest GPA in my class, I was honored with the Presidential Scholarship Award – very exciting!
On my way to the Financial Aid office, I was contemplating the generosity of the award – boy did I have high hopes! For the school that is definitely expensive, the award was rather skimpy. The Presidential Scholarship amounted to $1,000 or 1.5% of the tuition. Yeah!
Next week, I will be presented the award during the new student orientation for the incoming class, in hope of inspiring a few students to reach high for academic achievement.
I am a bit embarrassed to share this story. I’ve had my car for a bit over 4 years and over the last 4 years have driven quite a bit – particularly in the last year (New York to Iowa and back, Iowa to Wisconsin, NY to DC, etc.). I’ve been getting better at driving long distances, but still, it’s hard, and I get tired – especially my right foot, controlling the gas and break pedal.
From time to time, during the dreadful hours of driving, I have been considering using the cruise control feature of my car – but somehow, randomly pressing the buttons has never worked for me – and I wasn’t about to pull out a manual while driving 80 mph (i mean 60 mph…of course).
Well, the wait is over. This Labor Day weekend, on the drive from Montreal to Hyde Park, my friend and co-driver Erica has patiently explained the use of cruise control. I am a changed driver.
I wonder what else I have been missing out on 🙂