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The crème de la crème of work experience for aspiring chefs

Work experience is far more than just making a good cup of tea – unless, of course, you’re serving speciality tea at The Ritz in London. In which case, you best be skilled enough to make the finest tea in London!

Which is exactly what Level 3 Patisserie student, Katie Woodford, spent her time doing during a week’s work experience recently. Katie, who plans to open her own patisserie one day, was responsible for the delicate cake and pastry decorations as part of the Ritz’s distinguished afternoon tea, in addition to preparing breakfasts for the hotel’s guests.

Katie, who also spent a week at the 5* Chewton Glen Hotel in the New Forest, was thrilled to be part of such renowned establishments, “I never would have got such an opportunity had it not been for the college and their links with businesses. Everything is very precise at the hotel, which gives you a good eye for detail.”

Level 3 Professional Catering student, Amber Jones, was accepted for work experience at The Shard. She spent her time prepping and plating the starters and main courses, and felt the experience changed her mind about the possibility of working in London: “I was very anti-London before I went, but not many people get to work on the 31st floor of the Shard – the views from the kitchens were amazing!”

Level 3 student Lewis Worthington took a completely different approach to his work experience, choosing to go to Evolve Recruitment to learn more about the recruitment process in the Hospitality industry. He said, “I might opt to go into recruitment later in my career, but for now it’s been useful to know what employers look for. At the moment I work at the Hilton Ageas Bowl, and there’s some things I could highlight differently on my CV in order to progress in the industry.”

Whilst at Evolve, Lewis also met with the General Manager at Winchester Cathedral to discuss a forthcoming afternoon tea event, for which Lewis enlisted some of his classmates as staff and successfully managed the hospitality at the event.

Eastleigh College works with over 1,000 employers in the region, and even more further afield. This ensures that not only are our courses tailored to current industry needs, but also that students have the opportunity to gain a real insight into their field of study. Where possible students are actively encouraged to arrange work experience, and in many cases this turns into offers of employment. Work experience is incredibly useful in providing direction and helping students decide their career path – even if it’s not what they originally thought!

To find out where our previous students have progressed after studying with us, please see our selection of alumni case studies.