Would any of you be willing to take on an unpaid intern and what would your reaction be to someone asking? I want to go into the cake business but before I go to culinary school I want to have experience in the real world of baking. How should I or even should I approach one of these places? I am in college, I have several years of graphic design experience, I can sculpt, and I learn very quickly. Should I ask these storefronts and if so, how should I go about it?
I take them all the time, it's a win-win situation and in one case turned into a very valuable employee for me.
thank you very much, if you don't mind my asking, how did they approach you? How would you like to be approached? did they call you or did they just walk in? What is the protocol?
It's a mix of call, email, and walk in.... but now that I'm thinking about it I pretty much only take the ones that walk in! lol Maybe that's just because I'm very busy and an email or phone message is too easy to dismiss. Often, when someone comes in, I just set them up on a schedule right then and there. I usually do 2 four hour shifts per week, working around their schedule and trying to put them here when the action is. A lot of times they are doing less-than-glamorous things like mixing and scooping cookies, but they are still in the environment and watching and learning how things really go down.
It's nice if they have some sort of portfolio but since I'm not looking for an employee, I'm really more attracted to attitude. So have a red bull and get out there!
I am actually going to school for Baking and Pastry Art. I searched for local cake shops in my area and found one 15 min away from me. I e-mailed the shop explained that I was starting school and my degree. The owner wrote back and asked me to bring pictures of my work and resume to see if he would like me to be an intern. I went for an interview and was asked to start on Thursday for four hours a week. He wants to make sure I concentrate on my studies and get the experience I need at his shop. He told me to let me know anytime if I want to get in my hours. It has been an awesome experience from the get go. Good Luck!!!!
What area are you in?
I was a graphic designer for 29 years before going into cake decorating 2 years ago. We have a small bakery and custom cake shop in a tiny town on the coast of NC. We would love to add an intern this year, so don't be afraid to get out there and ask.
I agree with the other replies. Find out where the cake shops in your area are and pay them a visit. I would try to pick a time of the week that you would think would not be terribly busy. Take a few photos with you of your work, even if it is graphic design or sculpture, not cake. You'll find someone out there who will be happy to give you a chance.
By the way, I think you will find your graphic design background to be a real plus in the decorating arena.
We take them, pre-culinary school and interns during school. I make sure I am clear as to what I expect from them and how its not like the TV shows . They do dishes, fold boxes, and get to get in on some action.