After studying a GCSE in catering at school, Jessica enjoyed her insight to the industry and was keen to progress even further. Studying at Eastleigh College appealed to Jessica because of the variety the course offered, exposing her to both front of house and behind the scenes in the kitchens. Jessica decided to study at Eastleigh College because of the exclusive access to the fantastic facilities which includes a training kitchen and fine-dining restaurant, along with the friendly staff and atmosphere.

The learning environment was also something Jessica enjoyed about her time at the College. She explains, “At the college you are able to learn visually through actually doing the job you’re learning about which works better for me, instead of being sat in a classroom.” The varied course content was an important element of college life which has helped prepare Jessica for the workplace. She adds, “Being able to work in the restaurant was great because you actually get to try different elements of the job and speak to customers, which are all skills you need when you go into this industry.”

Jessica’s two years at college flew by with a number of visits to local businesses which offered opportunities to network with a range of employers, competitions, guest chef nights and work experience. It was through networking with a local restaurant, the Chesil Rectory, that Jessica managed to secure a full-time job straight after college. Working as a commis chef, Jessica is already looking to progress her career further by working her way up the career ladder and is absorbing all the experiences she’s exposed to. Commenting on her success, Jessica adds, “It was through networking at college that got me the job I have today.”

Jessica also recognises that the hands-on experience she gained during her course, has set her in good stead for her future. She adds, “My course really demonstrated how a kitchen is run and if I hadn’t got the experience I did at College with opportunities to work in professional kitchens with chefs, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do when doing it as a job straight after college."

It’s a job where you won’t get bored. There’s always something new to do and learn.

Jessica

Since working in the industry, Jessica has recognised the importance of her English and maths skills. From writing and proof-reading menus to weighing out ingredients for appropriate portions, Jessica is tapping into her basic skills on a day-to-day basis. All jobs have their benefits and for Jessica it’s that no day is ever the same, she explains, “There’s always something new to do and learn and it’s a job you won’t ever get bored in." 

To find out more about the Hospitality and Catering courses offered at Eastleigh College, visit the Careers webpage.