AI am a Baking & Pastry student in Chicago. How would you suggest I find a mentor or internship. I am looking to learn outside of the classroom also. I am willing to work for knowledge or even pay for additional training. Help please.....
Google is your best friend.
You are looking for bakery websites, and then look for their "careers" link. They will say if they offer internships or if they hire trainees.
Best to stick to the ones that pay at least minimum wage.
Anyway your baking and pastry course should also be helping you connect to placements and work listings.
I agree with BakingIrene, your instructor should be helping you with your internship. At my school bakeries and restaurants would call our instructor for students looking for jobs as well as setting us up with internship for final grades.
It helped so much to have that hands on experience while still in school. You could go to you local bakeries that you are interested in working at and ask them if you could job shadow, if you are willing to do it for free, believe me they will be happy to oblige, and if they see you are a hard worker with a willingness to learn it could turn into your dream job.
ABefore you contact bakeries make sure you do some research on them first to see what they specialize in and if they align with your interests. Write a personalized note to each company you are interested in highlighting your availability, what you want to get out of the internship, and why you selected their company.
And make sure to spell the name of the company correctly. It's amazing how many internship requests we got from pastry students who couldn't spell "patisserie".