Tips for the Admissions Process
The competition to get into specialty schools, colleges, and universities has reached almost Olympic proportions. The competition for admission is fierce because budding chefs and bakers just like you with the passion, experience, and drive have all decided to apply to their first choice of Culinary Schools. You may be one of fifty applicants with commensurate abilities, scholastic achievements, and practical experience vying for seven openings in the school of your choice. So what can you do to give yourself the best chance of acceptance? Here are a few practical suggestions:
You may want so badly to attend a particular culinary school that you overlook—or, hope the officials reviewing your application will overlook—the fact that your SAT scores are two points lower than admission standards. Don’t waste time and money applying to schools unless you meet all the stated criteria for admission.
- Follow Directions
Make sure you follow ALL the instructions on the application, supply ALL the requested documentation, and submit everything ON TIME. School applications routinely land in the rejected pile because a transcript is missing or the application arrived a day late.
- Wow Them with References
This is where practical training can help you shine. If you’ve worked in a professional kitchen, ask the most senior chef to write a recommendation on your behalf. You may be required to supply multiple references from teachers and former employers. In each case, make your requests in a timely fashion so each referring party doesn’t have to rush due to a tight deadline. And be sure your references are truly your fans. Many schools require the recommendations be written and sealed without the applicants ever seeing the document.
- Invest Your Time
Most Culinary School applications include an essay question about why the applicant chose to apply to culinary school and why they wish to pursue a career as a chef, etc. Take the time to write a thought-provoking and unique essay. Before writing the first draft, jot down the defining moments that influenced your decision to pursue a culinary career. This will help you format the essay to give a clear vision of your goals. Ask trusted friends, family, and culinary mentors to read it, offer comments and constructive criticism, and check for any glaring errors. (“Spell check” doesn’t find every mistake!) Take their comments and suggestions to heart when writing the final draft of your essay.
- Make It Easy on Yourself
If you’re applying to more than one school, there are shortcuts to reduce your time spent on the application processes. For instance, most secondary schools require ACT or SAT scores; make sure you have requested enough copies of your results. The same goes for your high school and college transcripts: make one request to receive multiple copies of necessary documents .
Last Updated: 08/08/2012