I'm A Freshman In College, What Do I Need To Do...?

Business By kelsiedelizzle Updated 17 Sep 2009 , 9:35pm by CoutureCake

kelsiedelizzle Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:24pm
post #1 of 10

So, it's been my dream for years now to open my own bakery, probably somewhere in Georgia so I can be close to my family, and now that I'm in college, I want to make sure that I can make that dream a reality by studying the right stuff in school.

Should I major in business? Like, administration or management or even entrepreneurship? Or does it even matter? My school doesn't offer a culinary arts program; the closest they have is international hospitality lol =]

And I think I want to go to culinary school for a year and get a certificate in patisserie/baking, but is that necessary? I've been baking since I was 14 and I've taught myself everything- never even taken a Wilton decorating class. But I want to learn more and I want to learn especially about making cakes that taste AMAZING. But it's expensive...

So, what are your thoughts/suggestions? I've been asking everyone this- friends, family, teachers, my advisor- but I thought have the perspective of some businessmen and -women in my chosen career field would be helpful too. icon_smile.gif

Thanks,
Kelsie

9 replies
baycheeks1 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:41pm
post #2 of 10

Taking business classes def help with the business side, going to culinary school would help as well. I have a Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree which I got some of both sides, I havent decided on going to culinary school yet, eventhough it's a thought.

I would say do business-entrepreneurship, if its offered. The business classes give you a lot of the info you need to start your own business like accounting and business plan writing...just general info. Take some culinary classes at a community college or go to culinary school after you graduate.

Also, you should try to work or volunteer at a bakery...you can learn a lot there too

ccr03 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 6:50pm
post #3 of 10

Business admin would be perfect!

A college friend of mine did that and has had two businesses - one a restaurant and a staffing company.

Don't forget to take marketing and communication courses. Business courses in marketing will teach you the business side of all of that while communication courses will teach you the visual/wording/creative side of things.

mrsb37 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 8:02pm
post #4 of 10

Definately take some culinary classes. Even try a Wilton class or two. I teach them, and I've had students who have been decorating for years comment on how much they learn.

Also check and see what free services your community has, for example, your local library. Many offer workshops or seminars in starting your own buisness, etc.

Lastly, get a part time job at a bakery, and really see first hand how things are done. Try to work in as many different areas of the bakery as they will let you, so you can learn every different part of the buisness.

Good luck!!

ButtercupMama Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 9:00pm
post #5 of 10

Yes, I agree, work part time at a bakery or something; this is a must. And yes, maybe a couple different bakeries... everyone does things differently; there is rarely a right way, I've found, except what works for hte individual shop. Do take all the business classes you can.
and DO read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber, which will help you avoid pitfalls of being the talented baker/decorator, as well as the owner/manager.

Culinary school is not necessary, but I don't think any education is a waste! You can learn a lot thru culinary, but you don't want to go into debt from it, and then try to pay off your tuition and a business loan at the same time. It's too bad it's so terribly pricey. Keep on the lookout for baking/decorating classes you can take without going into debt. icon_wink.gif

kelsiedelizzle Posted 14 Sep 2009 , 5:01pm
post #6 of 10

Thanks for all the advice! I'll definitely take it all into account... especially the part-time job at a bakery! I really miss baking, I haven't done ANYTHING since I've been here & I'm having withdrawals. icon_biggrin.gif

soygurl Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 8:50am
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by caketeen09

So, it's been my dream for years now to open my own bakery, probably somewhere in Georgia so I can be close to my family, and now that I'm in college, I want to make sure that I can make that dream a reality by studying the right stuff in school.

Should I major in business? Like, administration or management or even entrepreneurship? Or does it even matter? My school doesn't offer a culinary arts program; the closest they have is international hospitality lol =]

And I think I want to go to culinary school for a year and get a certificate in patisserie/baking, but is that necessary? I've been baking since I was 14 and I've taught myself everything- never even taken a Wilton decorating class. But I want to learn more and I want to learn especially about making cakes that taste AMAZING. But it's expensive...


So, what are your thoughts/suggestions? I've been asking everyone this- friends, family, teachers, my advisor- but I thought have the perspective of some businessmen and -women in my chosen career field would be helpful too. icon_smile.gif

Thanks,
Kelsie




Uh... icon_eek.gif Are you ME about five years ago?!? icon_razz.gif
That is almost identical to what I was doing/thinking when I was 18 (I'm 23 now). Not to mention your name... lol! icon_lol.gif
In case you're curious... here's what I did. I went to a really excellent community collage for two years. Got a basic AA degree, and was planning on transferring to get a bachelors in entrepreneurship.
But instead of doing that, I decided I needed a break from school, and a change of pace so I moved to a small town, and got a job decorating cakes at a local bakery. I've worked there for 3 1/2 years, as head wedding cake decorator for 18 months. The place I work is a train wreck, and I hate it; however, I've found that real-world bakery experience was something I really needed! But now, I've learned about all I can where I work so I'm thinking of moving back to Seattle soon so I can try and get a job at a better bakery, and continue to progress my cake skills for a few more years. I also plan to go back to school soon, but I still haven't decided what I want to study. My current main goal is to either own a small cake shop/business or be working at an AWESOME bakery, making good money, with a decent amount of freedom (basically the perfect job), by the time I'm 30. icon_rolleyes.gificon_razz.gif

Good luck with whatever you decide to do! thumbs_up.gif I really do recommend getting a job at a bakery! Work somewhere similar to what you'd like your future place to be if possible. A small, non-chain will probably give you the most accurate learning experience to help prepare you for owning your own place, you know? icon_wink.gif

kelsiedelizzle Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 2:24am
post #8 of 10

Kelsie, you even spell your name like me! That's so cool, I don't know anyone else who spells it the same.
I'd love to work in a bakery, but I don't have a car, so right now, I'm just trying to get a job in the cafeteria, which isn't quite the same, but it's something. But this summer, when I get a car (hopefully!), I'd like to work at a bakery. And hopefully, it'll be one that I like. icon_smile.gif

Just thinking about all the possibilities is so exciting! icon_biggrin.gif

soygurl Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 3:17am
post #9 of 10

Yeah, I've only heard of a couple other people who spell it with 'ie' instead if 'ey' icon_biggrin.gif
Any kitchen experience is better than none! But don't settle... make sure you keep pushing to your goals! Getting a bakery job in the summer is a great plan. thumbs_up.gif
The possibilities ARE exciting! I love day dreaming about future bakery ideas... I have enough ideas for about 5 different shops by now, lol! icon_rolleyes.gificon_razz.gif

CoutureCake Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 9:35pm
post #10 of 10

Short answer: Earn your MBA... icon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif

The cake/desserts/donuts are the easy part, it's RUNNING a business that is the hard part. The personalities alone will lead you to needing an advanced Clinical Psychology degree some days (seriously, if you just shut up and listen to brides you've usually made the sale ... on the flip side, it also helps you turn down the sale from a PITA bride or Bridezilla with champagne tastes and Old Milwaukee budget)... A bakery also requires you to choose which 80-120 hours you want to work in the course of a week. The thing is, not all of that time is going to actually let you into the kitchen, there are things like bills (power/rent/light/gas/association/morgage/laundry/paper products/ingredients/etc.), operating procedures (dealing with inspectors/state/local regs), accounting and taxes (just figuring out if the KitKat bar vs. the Snicker bar gets taxed is a pain - btw, KitKat doesn't because it contains flour here but a Snicker bar does here - go figure), etc.

Culinary school is a good idea if you want to focus on the french pastry side of things OTOH it's a lot of money compared to what you'll learn hands-on working in a production bakery for a job...

Check some of the other schools in your state/region for their offerings on Sanitation degrees or Food Science... That will help land you a job as a food inspector and that's a GOOD gig financially...

The other thing about school is that most professors are going to teach from a perspective of never having been in business. The real world of business doesn't rely on fancy marketing and business plans, it relys on hard work and having the money in the bank before you start. Many great businesses have not succeeded because there wasn't enough operating capitol left after the business was built to pay for even simple marketing and everyday operating expenses until the business was off the ground to run itself. Yes, you need to degree to fall back on, OTOH, remember that running a business and dreaming of owning a business are two different things entirely...

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