Last September 15, 2014, First Gourmet Academy was visited by Chef Jason Friendy who was in Manila in order to find culinary artists for Resort Squaw Creek in California that he is in charge of. This hiring fair was organized by Career Internship Abroad (CIA) together with the American sponsor Intrax, Inc. First Gourmet Academy has been working with these companies for quite a while now in order to assist our students and alumni to get employment abroad.
At the moment, we have around 20 to 25 of our graduates who are enrolled in this program called J-1 Visa. This type of Visa allows a student from First Gourmet Academy or any other school to work and live in the United States for one year. All of our students that have joined this type of program come back to the Philippines with a lot of knowledge and experiences that they would otherwise not have been exposed to. But not only that, the stipend that the hotel and restaurant is paying the students during the period of this program is more than enough to cover the expenses in America as well as paying all the investments made before enrolling in First Gourmet Academy, including the tuition fee.
“We recommend most of our students to join CIA and Intrax on a J-1 Visa like this,” the director of First Gourmet Academy, Mats Loo, explains. Not only are they being given the chance to make quite a lot of money. The most important thing is that they will, very early in their career, be exposed to a multicultural environment,” he continues. “Most of these hotels also accept individuals from other nations. This means that our students will get contacts all around the globe that will be useful in their future career.”
Myleen Monsanto enrolled in the Diploma program of First Gourmet Academy only last end of February 2014, less than 8 months ago. At the moment, she is completing her 480 hours of OJT at our Greek restaurant Kos Greek Ouzeri in UP Town Center along Katipunan.
“I think I was very lucky that I was recommended to this culinary school by a friend of mine.” Myleen tells us. “I always wanted to work abroad and the collaboration between First Gourmet Academy, Career Internship abroad and Intrax will give me this opportunity. I think it is quite fantastic that in less than a year I will be working in the USA.” Myleen smiles. (View CIA’s article about this hiring fair here.)