10 Hot Culinary Internships of 2012

culinary-internshipsWhile most culinary students dream about what their careers might look like post-school, the crème de la crème positions might very well go to those who've made those great connections or who have gained that practical hands-on experience through a culinary internship. If you're thinking you want to build out your training, you can look for your own hands-on experiences or use this list of 10 culinary internships as the first step toward gaining that career inspiration.

Dish out your skills: 10 culinary internships

Publix This grocery-store chain with some 1,000-plus stores in the south, offers students the opportunity to intern part-time over a length of 10 to 24 weeks. Students enrolled in a culinary arts program and with recommendations could be accepted for Baker Apprentice, Decorator Apprentice, Meat Cutter Apprentice, and Deli Clerk internships. The internship page indicates these internships are paid, at a minimum of at least $9 and hour, and that interns who excel are almost always offered follow-up employment. Additionally, any interns accepting a job can then apply for tuition reimbursement for any remaining culinary coursework that needs to be completed and leads to a culinary certificate or degree.  Check out additional internship information here.

Culintro If you want to intern in some of New York City's renowned restaurants, then apply for this internship program offered through the Culinary Trade Organization, a professional organization based in New York City. You'll need to be on your game, however, as applications for these internship opportunities are only accepted during specific time frames, often at least two months in advance of upcoming opportunities; be sure to check out the internship page often. Applicants will need to submit a $50 registration fee for the process, but can expect a refund if not accepted for an internship.  Check out additional internship information here.

Disney World While most kids dream of one day going to Disney, culinary students might dream of it for its internship possibilities. Qualified applicants can seek training through the resort's two internship programs in food and beverage management or culinary management. You'll need to be enrolled as a junior or senior at a college or university or have completed a recent culinary degree. Check out additional internship information here.

Campbell's You don't have to head to Disney to work your way toward a souped-up career. Campbell's also provides opportunities specifically through its six-month co-op position at its world headquarters located in Camden, N.J. There, interns can work with specific brand names, like Swanson Broth or Prego Italian Sauce and V8 Beverages, or explore more in Soup, Sauce and Beverage. Interns also lead a project and present results to research and development at the end of their internship. Applicants need to have at least a semester's worth of core culinary instruction, a 3.0 GPA, and be pursuing, or have completed, a minimum of an associate degree in the culinary arts. Check out additional internship information here.

Trump Think you belong working in a casino? Then check out the culinary and food and beverage management internship opportunities available at the Trump Plaza or Trump Taj Mahal, both located in Atlantic City, N.J. Interns are paid $10 an hour and receive a free meal in the employee cafeteria during their scheduled shifts. Students may have the opportunity to receive a scholarship at the end of each session.  Check out additional internship information here.

Cleveland Indians This internship, yes, located in Ohio, is available every March to October and provides practical experience in the the culinary department, concessions, operations, or more. You'll need to be willing to work 40 hours a week including, potentially, evenings and weekends, for those home games; you can also expect to receive a starting wage of $8 an hour, according to the internship website. Majors in hospitality, restaurant management and business management are preferred. Check out additional internship information here.

Hyatt This hotel chain offers a variety of culinary internships at its hotels located nationwide. Be sure to Google 'Hyatt culinary internships' frequently to find the latest or head to jobs.hyatt.com for more. A culinary internship opportunity posted in Seattle, for example, is based on a 40-hour work week and requires weekend hours. Interns there receive training in restaurant line operations as well as the banquet kitchen and also receive hourly pay (amount not disclosed on the website!). Check out additional internship information here.

Readers Digest Association Ever think you could find a culinary internship with a magazine? Well you can with this food stylist internship available through RDA's "Taste of Home" magazine that puts you in close quarters with food styling professionals. This part-time position, available in Greendale, Wis., is available to a student in their junior or senior year of school and pursuing a Bachelor's of Applied Science degree in culinary arts, food communication or similar. Photography skills are a plus. Check out additional internship information here.

Hersheypark You'll find a number of culinary internships available through Hersheypark, located in Hershey, Penn. These include internships through the Hersheypark and Giant Center, the Hershey Hotel, the Hershey Lodge, and Hershey Country Club. You'll likely learn about banquet preparation, Garde Manger and Line positions. While most internships are available during the spring and summer months, opportunities do arise in the fall and winter. New internships are usually posted several months in advance. Bonus: These internships are paid! You may also have chocolate forever on your mind.  Check out additional internship information here.

The Cheescake Factory Find restaurant internship programs available through this company's sites located throughout the U.S. Internships are tailor-made for students in their interest areas and include exposure to different kitchen stations. You'll be mentored by a senior manager and can expect pay of $10 per hour. To apply, students must be enrolled in a two- or four-year degree program and have at least one year of full-service experience.  Check out additional internship information here.

Think this is it?

This is just a small sampling of culinary internships that you could find available during the spring and summer months or even other times. For more ideas, check out ski resorts (especially during the winter), vacation resorts, national park sites, casinos, hotels and more -- even hospitals. Remember, the world really could be your oyster especially when you gain an internship experience to make your culinary school knowledge shine like a pearl.

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