In other posts, I've made it clear that I consider internships to be a valuable part of our team building/hiring process, not to mention that it's a great way to "give back" to the industry. Lately, however our local schools have made some changes that seem to be somewhat bizarre and counter-productive.
It used to be that interns would be sent on two or three interships (as high as 6 for one school) starting about five months into the course. Now, they are being sent out after a few weeks. Good Lord, they're lost!!! One recent interns didn't know how to put a paddle on a mixer, another tried to combine 30 litres of bombe-method chocolate mousse in the mixer and succeeded in making chocolate soup.
The second new rule is that interns can not go back to a shop for subsequent internships. Ideally, they are asked to find internships at a pastry shop/bakery, a restaurant, and a hotel. Used to be that we would take an intern for the duration and put them through all facets of the business. Heck, the better ones used to do stints in formula creation, costing, supplier interaction, product selection/mix, etc.
Now, I don't expect interns to be experts, and I do expect my staff to teach them, but, give me a break. Am I wrong in expecting them to have, at least, a rudimentary base of knowledge before they are sent out? I spoke to the two largest schools and they told me they wanted students to have real world experience ASAP. Seems to me that they will scare off many potential sucessful people by tossing them to the wolves (so to speak)
Internships in our shop are fought over, and some of my people are guest lecturers in the schools, but I am seriously considering telling the culinary schools to take us off their lists for first internships. Doing so would stick in my craw. The schools need us to put the finish on their students.
What have been your experiences? What steps do you take in granting internships? How do you manage your relatioships with the culinary schools? If there are any culinary school people out there, or students for that matter,... What is the logic behind sending out these "lost souls" way before they are ready?
I usually sign of with "Cheers'" but not this time.