The Great Hall
Seeking Internship. Need advice. The Great Hall: Seeking Internship. Need advice.
By Forrest (Forrest) on Saturday, September 10, 2005 - 04:44 am: Edit

Hi, I am currently attending a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary school in the United States. After I have completed my class work. I am required to work as an Intern at a Fine Dining Restaurant before I can graduate. I still have plenty of time but I have been searching for a restaurant that I fell I could learn from and further develop my style. I have found just such a restaurant. I feel that it is absolutely perfect for me and it would be a dream come true to intern there. However, I thought it might be beneficial for me to ask some professional advice on this. When I am writing or typing about something I am passionate about, I tend to become long winded. I do not want to fill the letter with information that the restaurant could care less about yet at the same time do not want to leave anything out that they may want to know as I realize that this is going to be the restaurants first impression of me and I want everything to be perfect. So I was wondering what my letter should include and also what it should not include. Basically I am asking if I should just stick to business or if I should share some personal information about my self and if so, what?

Also, would it really matter if I emailed the restaurant instead of actually writing them a letter? Email would be more convenient for me right now but if writing a letter will increase my chances then I am all for it. I just really want to intern at this Restaurant so any advise contacting the restaurant about an internship would be appreciated.


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 12:45 am: Edit

Put a tie on and go walk in, if they can't talk to you right then, make an appointment and go back.
Whats with the letter????
Whats with the email being better for you, not to be nasty but, its not about you, it's about rather or not these people like your grades and attitude, ect, ect. and if they want you to come in.
And shave, and trim your hair.
And if you have things stuck in your nose or ears, or other places they might see, take them out. Thats nasty.
ONLY share personal info if asked. and keep it light and general.
Things like " I'm into goth" don't cut it.
And be prepared to take a drug test, so if you do them, decide whats more important, drugs or a career. And then stop.
I drug test everyone. And fritos and tomato juice does not clear anything out or mask anything you've taken in the last week.
And if you have a sit down with anyone, don't drink while talking to them, if they ask you if you want a beer, say no, drink a coke or water.
Thats an old trick.
Review what you learned and keep it fresh in your mind, they might ask in detail about each class, I know I would.
And don't bitch about anything about school or teachers, no one wants to hear about that and it makes you sound resentful.
Good luck.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 12:45 am: Edit

so did I miss anything?

By Forrest (Forrest) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 03:00 am: Edit

I have thought about that and realize that a personal visit to the restaurant would probably be the best and most professional way to go about getting an internship but the restaurant I am seeking to intern at is overseas. I have class 5 days a week and work pretty much all day at my two jobs the other two days so I really don't have a lot of time to fly over there except maybe this spring, we get a week long spring break but it isn't looking like I am going to be able to save enough money to get a plane ticket with gas prices being the way they are right now. I do not have to worry about the drugs, I have never used them other than the typical experimentation that a lot teens and preteens deal with. Besides, I am too poor right now to do drugs. The hygiene issues you mentioned above also shouldn't be a problem with me, My Culinary school has strict policies regarding beards, hair, and overall hygiene. If you don't follow thier guidelines, they will drop you from your classes.

I do appreciate your advice regarding the accepting of a drink offer. That is definitely something that I would fall prey too. I would be afraid of offending them if I turned them down but now that I have the knowledge you have given me, they will not catch me with that one.

The only reason why email would be better for me right now is because the US postal service in my area sucks big time. My student loan company will send me stuff in the mail and I will never get it and whenever I try to write my parents or anybody else, half the time they do not get it. If I wrote the restaurant a letter and then didn't get a response, I would always wounder if they were just saying "Buzz off, Get lost" or if they just didn't get the letter at all. With email, as long as the email doesn't bounce back, you know that odds are someone has recieved it so if you don't get a response back, you pretty much know what that means. If a restaurant is paying for a website and has posted their email address on it, then odds are they will have someone checking it.

I just didn't know if they would even consider me if I emailed them. I know the fact that you actually take the time to sit down right a letter then mail it really seems to matter a lot to some people. Just thought I would ask about that.

Anyway, thanks for the advice.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 09:33 am: Edit

well, it may have been better to mention that fact, you know, its in another country.
so write the letter, send a photo, email, at this point any contact will at least get them considering.
and maybe in the future you may want to consider giving all the info. when asking a question.
good luck.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:04 am: Edit

I have mixed feelings about internships because you are supposed to be covering all the aspects of the business but in reality they use you as glorified dishwasher, peeling potatoes, and all that crap you should have done before spending 30K for LCB!
But, anyway, just get a job and tell the job and the school "after" you get hired that this is going to be your intership, why make unnecessary statements like "I need to do an intership" and scare the prospective employer by thinking you'll be gone in six months, even if you are!
BTW, if any employer tells you to send a picture remind him this is an illegal practice, it has been used in the past to weed out certain races, and nationalities and deemed illegal!
What campus are you going to????

By Ilpro (Ilpro) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 10:43 am: Edit


You are absolutley correct. We have had three CIA interns here at the club. Two of them were not capapable of working the outlined program I set up and the CIA approved which included 4 weeks broiler/meat fabrication, 4 weeks saute/saucier, 4 weeks fry cook/fish fabrication, 4 weeks garde manger/pantry and 2 weeks running the kitchen under supervision/purchasing, receiving & cost control. The two students thought it was too much & the third is now running his own place. I have also had two interns from our local community college. One of them I fired and the other was awesome and eventually worked several years full time for us.

Some of the students have no business out on an internship and end up peeling spuds, some want to spend 4 hours on a cheese tray and some are going to be a lot better than me.


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 11:10 pm: Edit

Manny, its in another country, I don't think they care about those laws.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 11:12 pm: Edit

Hey forrest, read what Chef Ilpro wrote.
remember it.

By Forrest (Forrest) on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 01:41 am: Edit

I will. Ilpro, that sounds like my kind of internship. I don't want to just end up peeling potatoes, I want to really get involved and actually make the restaurant feel that I am not just there to learn but also there to contribute. I have really been working hard at culinary school. I have not had any outside recreation since I started. All I do is go to school and work. Cooking is my recreation, I love it especially when I get to use an ingredient that I have never used before and coming from a very rural area in the deep south, I have had a chance to work with so many new ingredients here at school and I have just had a field day. I realize that a restaurant kitchen is a team and everybody on the team has a job they need to do and do well. I also realize that when I do get into the industry that I will have to start at the bottom and be forced to do a lot of the grunt work. I am a team player and will except that role but will be clawing and scratching the entire time to reach the next level. I really hope I can find an internship like the one you mentioned above. After all, my goal is to eventually open my own restaurant anyway and all that you mentioned above would be a great learning experience.

Thanks for all the advice.

By Ilpro (Ilpro) on Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 09:19 pm: Edit

Forrest, I wish you all the best on your internship. If I was to give a student advise it would be this: The establishment you intern at is a business and typically a for profit business. Your efforts will be contributing to the bottom line also. Continue to be attentive and learn even if the proposed internship guidlines are loosly followed. If you are under a competent Chef you will LEARN. Always take pride in your product. If you end up in the Country Club setting you will do what the members want and it will not always be gourmet cuisine. Utilize the same passion in making a BLT as you do in preparing a Tournedos Marchand De Vin.


PS.. Its ok to be a nice guy! Some days I would like to trade in my very best for someone who can cooperate.

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