She had always had a passion for baking, and had even considered enrolling in a pastry school right after her O-level examinations.
"I had considered pastry school after I was done with my O levels, but I eventually decided to complete university first," Miss Ethel Jiang, 24, said.
After graduating from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in mid-2011, Miss Jiang decided to go back to her dream of enrolling in a pastry school.
She said: "Upon graduating with a degree, I felt that it was the best opportunity for me to finally have a go at pursuing something that I had always wanted to do."
Miss Jiang wasted no time and enrolled for a Diploma in Pastry and Bakery at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy by the end of 2011.
When asked about her decision making process when choosing to enrol at At-Sunrice, Miss Jiang said: "It is an established culinary institution and many people in the culinary industry recommended enrolling at At-Sunrice to me. Besides, as a Singaporean, I would be able to enjoy the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA ) funding provided to acquire more skills and pursue my passion."
Miss Jiang claims to enjoy the programme at At-Sunrice despite the challenges that students studying in a culinary school may face, with the rotation of studying and interning during the same period.
"Although the work and study rotations are quite challenging, I like that such a system exists to allow us to learn and gain experience concurrently.
"The rotations also meant that I could practise what I had learnt at school, at my internship site.
"I also liked that throughout the course of my studies at At-Sunrice, there were many opportunities to meet and learn from the top chefs in the industry. Although my diploma was specialised in pastry and bakery arts, the school nevertheless exposed me to different cuisines and their cultures.
"Of course, I also liked that At-Sunrice has a team of chef instructors who are very passionate in what they do, and in educating the next generation of chefs," she said.
Just like any other student, Miss Jiang faced di cult situations in her studies, and when she encountered these situations, she had her family to look to for support.
"If it is a work-related situation that I am experiencing, I would go to the human resources department at my internship, or my chef-incharge, at school.
"Otherwise, I would usually look to my family for support as they have, in fact, been my greatest support the whole time, especially when I made the decision to pursue a career in the kitchen," said Miss Jiang.
And her family's support has indeed had a positive effect in her studies, pushing Miss Jiang to become the overall best student in her batch in her Diploma in Pastry and Bakery. Miss Jiang is also working at Paul Bakery, a French chain of bakery and café restaurants established in 1889 in the city of Croix, in northern France.
WHY THIS COURSE
The Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) - Diploma in Pastry and Bakery has the following entry requirements:
Admission criteria for Singaporean students:
- N levels with at least three credits with English component, or Workplace Proficiency Level National (WPLN) Level 5.
After spending 18 months at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, students can complete seven bridging units online and then spend their final years at several top universities. The academy has signed degree articulation agreements with renowned universities like Johnson & Wales University in the US, University of West London in the UK and William Angliss Institute in Australia.
"The magic of At-Sunrice is embedded in its curriculum, facilities, culture and talent. Grooming passionate F&B candidates who understand and are ready for the challenge of becoming the next best F&B professionals make for a dynamic and valuable contribution to the industry.
Since 2001, At-Sunrice has cultivated global chefs and F&B professionals in an experiential environment of culinary authenticity, best-fit apprenticeships and innovation... At-Sunrice's preferred industry partnerships help coach and nurture our students to be leaders among their peers, while learning from the best in the industry through Study and Work rotations." - Mr Kendrick Delaney, Associate Dean, At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy
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