Program Helps Students Find Careers to Best Match Skills and Interests
Since opening in September 2006, more than 1,000 externships have been completed at ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) in Norfolk. As an integral part of the school's curriculum, the externship program provides students with real-world, hands-on working experience in restaurants and other culinary businesses.
Unlike many culinary programs, CIV's externship program is based on a European apprenticeship model where a student would spend time in the work place while enrolled in classes at school. CIV students are also eligible to complete two externships, allowing them to explore different aspects of the food service industry, which contributes to their versatility as graduates.
Externship sites range from family-owned to corporate restaurants, university dining facilities, corporate food service, hospitality, catering companies, food media and other related businesses.
Rhys Lewis is Executive Chef at the Williamsburg Lodge, part of the Williamsburg Colonial Foundation. He has partnered with CIV for nearly five years and has had dozens of students do their externships at the lodge. Several just completed their programs.
"We rely on CIV to provide students with the right interests and talents to match our employment needs," Lewis says. "Some of our best hires were externs who are now on our staff. School personnel assess our priorities and requirements. We attend their job fairs and stay in contact with the career advisors. CIV is a great recruiting resource for us."
The school has four full time career advisors, each with experience in the food service industry. Career advisors work one-on-one with each student on job acquisition skills and identifying potential externship sites. Advisors regularly visit a broad range of employers to learn about their current and future business needs.
"By knowing our students and prospective employers, CIV career advisors take on the role of matchmakers," says, Andy Gladstein, Campus Provost at CIV. "Like the work of any matchmaker, a successful pairing of student and employer will lead to a long and happy relationship."
Despite the challenging economy, CIV estimates that over 90 percent of each graduating class accepted positions in the culinary field upon program completion. Of CIV's Class of 2011, 50% of students remained working at their externship site after program completion.
Josh Segal is currently doing an externship as a cook at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.
"There's nothing better than actual industry experience to apply skills I've learned in class" says Segal, 25, a Newport News native. "I wanted to work in a large resort setting and the fit is just what I was looking for."
For more information about ECPI University's School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of Virginia, visit the CIV website at www.chefva.com or contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-625-2518.
About The Culinary Institute of Virginia
Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, opened for enrollment in fall 2006. Graduates can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary science in less than two years. The curriculum offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on externships in the community. For information call 757-858-CHEF or visit the Culinary Institute of Virginia
About ECPI University
ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, and online; graduate employment services are provided. Continuing education certification classes and testing are also available.
ECPI's fields of study include:
- Cloud Computing (Bachelor's Degree)
- Database Programming (Bachelor's Degree)
- Electronics Engineering (Bachelor's Degree)
- Mechanical Engineering Technology (Bachelor's Degree)
- Mechatronics (Bachelor's Degree)
- Network Security (Bachelor's Degree)
BUSINESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
(Program field availability varies by campus.) For more information, visit http://www.ecpi.edu