Juggling culinary school and work

I should be more careful what I wish for. I hoped, prayed and promised Fate I would never ask for anything ever again (eeek) if I were to be selected for the freelance food editor position I applied for over the summer. Apparently, Fate forgot that in 1982 I asked if he could make a boy in my class like me, with the promise to never ask for anything again, because I got the job!!

I’ve been writing and writing my fingers to the bone, for free, for the past three years. Granted, I’ve landed a few paying jobs, but for the most part, to build a portfolio and much needed accolades and street creds, I’ve been sacrificing pay to be able to write for places like Food Network and Martha Stewart Radio. I know every food writer, heck every writer, in America is hating me right now because the creed is that “you never write for free.” But, I felt I had to do it. I started this career late in the game and had a lot of catching up to do; I didn’t have 10+ years to build experience and a writing portfolio — I set a goal to do it in less than five.

Needless to say, I was a little excited to read a posted position in my area for a food writer and recipe developer — those positions are unheard of in Orlando. I was interning at the Test Kitchen at the time, but knew I’d be home in a month, and applied. I didn’t expect to hear anything, but they called. And that call turned into another, and another, and then emails to schedule in-person interviews when I returned to Orlando.

Long story short, I was offered (and accepted) their contract position and will be with them until the holidays. I’m working on my first assignment as we speak, and having a blast — it’s my dream job in Orlando, for sure, and although only a few months long, it’s another chance to do what I love — with pay!

While I’m freelancing full time for this company, I’ll also be going to school twice a week. Those two days will be long — 8 a.m. until about 6 or 7 p.m. between school and work. After working at the Test Kitchen, I know I can survive anything, but it will be challenging.

So, Fate, if you’re listening, can I give back my 1982 credit for the boy in elementary school, and see if I can have one day to work from home after school instead?

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            Eastwick College , Hackensack
            If you want to get into the workplace quickly or advance your existing career, Eastwick College and the HoHoKus Schools offer job-focused programs that can be completed in as little as six months. Flexible schedules and scholarships for selected students make getting your education more convenient and less expensive than you may have imagined.