The Chocolate Life

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Hi,

I am a recent graduate of Ecole Chocolat’s Professional Chocolatier Program, and I am wanting to intern with a chocolatier. I currently live on Long Island, NY, but am unsure about how to find an internship here. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Lynn

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You can intern with us in a month or so.

emvichocolate.com

Hi, thanks for the offer. Could you possibly send me some contact information so that we can discuss further? 

Contact us through the website.

Can you come upstate? Lunechocolat.com

Thank you for the offer. Unfortunately you're approximately five hours away from me; I can't travel that far.

Hi Lynn,
One way to find an internship is to prepare a resume then knock on doors of chocolate shops in your area. Search every connection that you have for helpful introductions, but most shops will ask you to work a trial day anyway. Interviews are only the first step. chefs know that you may have experience, but what matters most are your skills as a professional. You may make beautiful chocolates, but can you do it at a professional pace?

You real interview is in the kitchen. You will be thrown in the kitchen for a day where you will do actual production. This gives everyone an opportunity to see how well you work together.
It is trial by fire. Your resume may get you in the door, but your skills will secure your position. Many professional food establishments start out offering interns a trail period, with no pay, that may or may not lead to a paying position. Your training would determine a lot of that.

If you would like to assist me for a day or two, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss it. I cannot offer you a job at this time, but I can offer you a chance to gain some experience as a non-paying intern.

My shop is in Westchster, NY. You can contact me through my website.
www.bluetulipchocolates.com
Diane

Hi Diane,

Thank you so much for the advice and guidance! As much as I would love to meet you regarding an internship, I am unable to accept; Westchester is just too far from my home. But thanks again for the generous offer; I appreciated it greatly!

Lynn;

Here are some infinite words of wisdom (my Mother's):  "Beggars can't be choosers."

It's unlikely that you will find a place for two very good reasons:

1.  What even modestly intelligent chocolatier within proximity of your home is going to train you so you can compete with them???  Think about it for a second, and you'll understand why chocolatiers from far away are offering, but nobody close is.

2.  Assuming you are offering to work for free and sponge information from your "Mentor" in exchange for the extra hands, you fail to realize that your presence in their business is costing them money while they explain things to you, and show you how they want things done.   You don't actually start making your employer money until after you've been there for at least 3 months - whether your work for free or not.

If you truly want to learn the craft, prepare to travel.

Good Luck.

Brad

Wow, I suggest that anyone with professional experience would not say that. Chocolate professionals are incredibly generous. Ignore this pessimism. There are confidentiality agreements for those that worry.

You may have to get more training and definitely be willing to go where the work is, no question about that. But there are many chocolatiers willing to hire interns.

Diane;

 

For small businesses, Confidentiality / Non Disclosure agreements (NDA's) are generally only for those who are naieve enough to think that they actually hold merit.

 

I worked in the IT industry for many years (actually took an ecommerce dot com company public on NASD in 2001), so I know more than I ever want to know about NDA's.  Even IF your lawyer is good enough to write one that sticks, can you, or anyone else afford the $250,000 + in legal fees it's going to take to defend one?

 

Maybe I don't polish my verbiage like some on this forum (such as Clay's eloquent response below which paraphrases and builds upon what I wrote above), but I'm still accurate, and my post above is still spot on.

 

Again, I say and Clay reiterates, prepare to travel if you want to intern.

Oh... and Diane, assuming you are suggesting that I don't have professional experience, seeing as I have numerous chocolate stores, MAKE MY OWN CHOCOLATE from scratch and have been doing it commercially now for several years, and will be opening at least two more retail stores next year for a total 5 in as many years, maybe you can enlighten me as to your definition of "professional experience"?  After all, the definition of "professional" as outlined in dictionary dot com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/professional?s=t) means deriving one's income from the activity.  Are YOU a professional?  How professional are you compared to me?  Given the anonymity of the internet, maybe I should be suggesting that you aren't professional and therefore not qualified by your own standards to offer an opinion......

 

Attacking people in forums isn't nice, and certainly if you attack me be certain to get a well architected response.

 

Sincerely,

Unprofessional Brad.

Brad -

Actually, Diane is a neighbor of mine. I have known her for over 15 years. And yes, she is a professional according to the dictionary definition you cite. In fact, one of the things I have been doing over the past few months is helping her to open her first retail location here in Westchester. But Diane has been an active professional for as long as I can remember.

Here's the point. It always comes back to this. We've had this conversation in private more times than I care to remember. So here it is in public:

You can be spot on, as you say (though I don't agree that you were spot on). It's not about polished verbiage. It's about coming across as a bully. The attitude that you project is that you simply don't care what people think. You come across as thinking that your opinion is the only opinion that matters and that anyone who begs to differ even one iota is not just plain wrong but incredibly stupid not to see the brilliance of your wisdom. Any insinuation that you might not be right (or professional, in this case) sends you into a tirade where you attack attack attack.

If you want to have that attitude in your place of business, then that's your prerogative. This is my place of business and I am asking, once again, for you to contain yourself.

This whole thing about bringing up the dictionary definition of the word professional is, to put it bluntly, not professional. One can be a professional (according to the dictionary definition you quote) without acting professionally. Your reply to Diane is not professional in the latter sense.

You may be technically correct. You often are. Sometimes you aren't. But that's not the point.

It's not about polishing your verbiage: STOP SHOUTING AT, AND BELITTLING, PEOPLE WHO DON'T AGREE WITH YOU.

But it's ok for someone to call me unprofessional when I provided some valid and candid insight as to why a forum member wasn't getting results they wanted?

 

I didn't belittle anybody.  I didn't yell at anybody.  In fact as I recall, you even AGREED with what I wrote.

 

I don't give a flying pinch of pigeon poop WHO'S place of business it is, or who's house I'm in, or who's neighbor they are.  If I'm publicly attacked, or publiclycalled names, such as unprofessional, a public reprisal will be forthcoming in vehment fashion.

 

For Diane to call me unprofessional for what I wrote was rude.  Period.

You yelling at me as you just did for defending myself was rude.  Period.

 

Now it's time for YOU to stop yelling at people who don't agree with you.

 

Brad 

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