As a high school senior at Illinois Virtual School, College Prep, Annie Koehlinger has been carefully searching for her ideal undergraduate program. She was interested in ballroom dancing and watersports as a young girl, but never aspired to do these activities professionally. Annie Koehlinger instead hoped to professionally work in culinary arts. This art form became a strong passion after her parents surprised her with a trip to Paris, France. In Paris, Annie Koehlinger met classically trained chefs and feasted at some of the world’s fanciest and most popular restaurants. French food culture became so fascinating to her that she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Studies after she completes high school. Annie Koehlinger hopes this degree will allow her to launch a career as a master chef so she can one day operate her own restaurant. Working in the foodservice industry, however, is no easy task.
Students wishing to pursue a culinary arts degree to work as an entry-level chef or kitchen manager must complete rigorous, hands-on training. Many students consider attending a two or four year institution that provides only culinary arts programs because students at these institutions concentrate on mastering culinary artistry and honing practical knowledge. Culinary arts programs also seek to judge a student’s ability to apply basic science and cooking techniques in the areas of preparation, selection, and serving. For Annie Koehlinger to become a restaurant owner and chef, she must also search for a program that will teach her integral managerial and leadership skills. Most entrepreneurs who own a restaurant have also taken business education classes as part of their culinary arts degree. Annie Koehlinger, therefore recognizes that it is vital for her to consider colleges with these courses.
After Annie Koehlinger completes an undergraduate culinary arts program and acquires her culinary certification, she can begin pursuing her dreams of forming her own foodservice establishment and mastering superior cooking techniques.
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