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Student Stories: From An Unpaid Placement to a Paid Job: How I Became a Chef at Mayfair Hotel

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Student Stories

Student Stories: From An Unpaid Placement to a Paid Job: How I Became a Chef at Mayfair Hotel

About placements

Alliance College, being a well-established school in Adelaide for over 40 years, has industry placement support for all of our students, in both of our campuses in Adelaide and Sydney.

In Adelaide, several hotels, restaurants, and cafes are our industry partners; in Sydney, we have guaranteed paid placement for our Commercial Cookery and Hospitality students in the Accor Group hotels, Meriton Suite, and Travelodge Hotel.

Work placement is mandatory for some careers to get recognition after graduation and Commercial Cookery is one of them. To officially become a cook or a chef, the student must complete, at least, 360 hours of work placement to be recognized by Trade Recognition Australia (TRA). Therefore, the school’s support on finding placement for the students who are a distant way from their home countries in a new multi-cultural environment like Australia has utmost importance on their career pathway.

How our students became chefs at the Mayfair Hotel

Alliance College has partnered with Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide since 2020, during which we have sent several students to do the mandatory Commercial Cookery work placement. Some of our students even got the opportunity to officially work at Mayfair as a commis chef at the end of their placement.

Get to know more about their journeys below and tips to be successful in your work placement environment.

Former Commercial Cookery Student Miko with her coworker in front of the Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide
Commercial Cookery student, Miko, with one of her coworkers at Mayfair Adelaide

Miko is one of the Commercial Cookery leading to Diploma of Hospitality Management students at our college that came all the way from China. She will be graduating at the end of February 2022. She has already been promoted to commis chef at Mayfair Hotel, after finishing her placement there. During the placement, Miko has learned a lot from basic skills to advanced skills.

“I’m lucky to find this placement because originally it was already full, but I left my contact number with the Marketing Team to see if  anyone had canceled their placement spot. Luckily, I got a Sunday shift. I did the placement there for 4 months. At first, I did basic tasks and watch other people doing things. Eventually, I learned to help the chefs.”

After finishing her placement, Miko was promoted to Commis Chef at Mayfair

“The good thing to work at Mayfair Hotel is everyone is friendly, and they won’t blame you even if you did a bad job. You will learn a lot and gain confidence. Being a student at Alliance College helped me to learn a lot about this course, what’s more, we learned about the career structure, and we were always encouraged. After that, you’ll have to learn by yourself. If I give any tips about being a chef, you should always be patient! Patience is everything!” – said Miko.

Kate is also one of our students who have a similar journey as Miko. She also shared with us some insights about her successful career path.

“Unpaid placement is never an easy job. As a student, it’s difficult to balance your work and study. But at the end of the day, it’s all about learning and it also can help my future. I never complained and it is always important to have a good attitude, I think that’s why I got chose to do the placement at Mayfair Hotel in the first place.” 

Kate in one of her shifts as a Commis Chef at the Mayfair Hotel

“As a student, every day is a practice, you need to learn to be flexible about everything in the kitchen. I always communicate and follow their standard. I told myself that being humble is important and I always listen when I do the placement. I don’t believe you only need skills; I believe everything is a learning process. I’m blessed to be a commis chef at Mayfair Hotel, this is my goal and my passion. Most importantly, I learned how to manage my time here, to balance my work and study.””

Kate during her interview with Alliance College's Marketing Team: "Unpaid placement is never an easy job. Your time is hard to manage to balance work and study. But at the end of the day, it’s all about learning and helping my future."

“In the Philippines, I never had experience in commercial cookery, I came here as a student, it’s new for me. Even how to communicate with other people is new. Alliance College helps me to grow, it also helps me to communicate with other people. It’s good for students to get into the industry.”

Both of them said learning is crucial, finding a good attitude to learn things will always bring you benefits in life.

If you are an Alliance College student and you’d like to know more about placement opportunities, send an e-mail of interest to our marketing team with your resume: marketing@alliancecollege.edu.au

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