Employability Week inspires students

February 2015

The College of Food’s February 2015 Employability week was a huge success, with VRQ Level 3 Chef Diploma students learning how their skills can be applied in the world of work and gaining an insight into possible career opportunities. 

The week featured a range of presentations from culinary organisations, food entrepreneurs and successful chefs – some of whom are UCB alumni. Presentations included master classes and cooking demonstrations about how to prepare meat dishes, sauces and a brief overview of mixology. 

Guests included Work a Season, a specialist ski company recruitment agency; Shaker & Co, whose new restaurant is opening in March in The Mailbox; UCB alumni John Barber and Josh Mason, who work as sous chefs in the Mandarin Oriental’s Bar Boulud in Hyde Park; and Exclusive Hotels and Venues’ Executive Chef Andy MacKenzie and UCB alumni Joel Darby. 

Employability Week is moving from strength to strength and is very popular with students. It enables them to see the variety of opportunities available to them and gives them a real buzz about possible career prospects available after their course. It’s an ideal opportunity to learn and ask questions of chefs and their experiences in different industry backgrounds. Not only does it help students pinpoint areas in which they might like to specialise, they can also see how successful UCB alumni are and aspire to similar heights. Some of the guest presenters also have jobs and work experience available within their organisations, and students regularly snap these opportunities up to get as much experience in the industry as possible.

John Penn, Assistant Dean for the UCB College of Food

On being asked where they would like to be in 10 years’ time, students responded with a wide range of goals and ambitions, including travelling to different countries and experiencing different cuisines, working in a luxury hotel, owning their own restaurant, working as a pâtissier, being a military chef, working in a Michelin star restaurant and learning from famous chefs. 

Picture: Assistant Dean John Penn with UCB alumni John Barber and Josh Mason, who work as sous chefs at Bar Boulud – a French/American style bistro in Hyde Park, London.