When being good at your job isn't so good

I had my internship evaluation this afternoon. Overall, it was great, I was really pleased with the feedback — I scored the highest points possible on the school evaluation form for reliability, independence, leadership and cooking skills. My knife skills, which is what I needed to work on the most, scored the 2nd highest mark. We talked a lot about the balance between speed and accuracy when it comes to knife skills. When I first started the internship, I was accurate, but very slow. During the internship I went supersonic and sloppy. In the last month, I’ve found a nice balance of speed and accuracy.

The only negative, which my supervisor said he saw as a positive, was that a few of the cooks felt that I was too eager and proactive, asked too many questions and tried to do too much, which they said was off-putting. My feelings were a little hurt at first. I’ve always strived to do my best no matter where I’ve worked, whether for myself or someone else. I figured though, if the worst thing someone could say about you is that you’re proactive and eager (an overachiever) at your job, you’re in a fairly good place.

The feedback I received on the muffin project and 1000-word story was just what I needed. The editor, who had come from Gourmet Magazine, was direct, to the point, and had helpful advice on how to better develop my writing voice in general, and also for ATK’s magazines. Story aside, she said the flavor of the muffin was great — it was moist, lemony and had a nice crumb texture. She noted the top of the muffin was a little pale, and the top had mushroomed and spilled — both signs that the oven temperature was not high enough when the muffins first went into the oven. Either the oven wasn’t preheated properly, or the oven wasn’t calibrated. Regardless, it was a great exercise to go through because I never would have thought to address those issues in the recipe. I just have assumed in the past that the home cook would have let their oven preheat to the right temperature.

My last day is tomorrow — a 4 hr. workday, and then lunch with SFH, my carpool pal and editorial assistant at the magazine; I will miss her dearly. I’ll miss the girls, too — AP, KC, AW and RR and I have become great friends. I’m so proud of them and glad we’ll be staying in touch; they’re kind of like my Miranda, Carrie, Charlotte and Samantha.

Saturday I start the drive back to Orlando; 21 hours. My husband promised a pizza would be waiting for me when I get home on Sunday, which will be the perfect day — a giant hug from my husband and daughter, and pizza. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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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.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 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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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            Virginia College , Jacksonville
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • 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
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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