Culinary externship programs allow students to take what they learn in the classroom into a real-world club kitchen.
A culinary externship is a valuable work experience that provides culinary students with opportunities to sharpen their skills, expand their knowledge base and make valuable industry contacts. Most culinary arts degree programs offer externships as part of the overall learning experience.
Culinary school is an exciting opportunity for students to get exposed to new techniques and ideas in the world of food. But when the classwork ends, they need to be able to put all those new skills to work. The main purpose of an externship is to help students transition into a successful career. So when a country club allows students to extern in their culinary department, they are providing an opportunity for students to get hands-on work experience.
Externships are experiential learning opportunities provided by partnerships between educational institutions and employers to give students practical experiences in their field and gain valuable insight into the type of kitchen they might like to work in long term. Unlike an internship, externships offer a short but concentrated program that allows students to experience various aspects of the culinary department over a short matter of weeks or days. The shorter length allows students to do more than one externship and gain exposure in a variety of kitchens to see which they prefer, whether it is a country club, hotel, or restaurant.
During a country club externship, students are able to work alongside other club culinary professionals and mentors that provide supervised support and feedback. The daily feedback they receive is beneficial for their long-term career goals all while helping them hone their skills, perfect their culinary techniques, and make valuable club contacts. The duties performed by students during their externships will differ widely among clubs. Students may perform a variety of prep tasks, cooking on the line, or putting final touches on dishes before going out to members.
While having extra hands working in the kitchen is always helpful, being involved with a culinary externship program has multiple benefits for both culinary students and a country club’s kitchen. And even though many students might come and go through the kitchen, there is always the possibility of finding a future employee who is a perfect fit for the club.