Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

When the second choice is the better choice…

It’s a common occurrence for many university graduates: after finishing their degree they find it hard to find work in the profession they’ve trained for. While that was Richard Weintz’s experience, he wasn’t one to bemoan his fate. For him it was all about attitude.

“I went to University for four years and graduated with a Bachelor of Media – Sound Production and a $50,000 HECS debt. The problem was I couldn’t find enough work in Media to make a living,” said Richard. “It was a setback but there was no point sitting around lamenting.  If the path you thought was your destiny doesn’t turn out, then you have to take that experience and apply it to the next steps on your journey.”

Richard’s steps took him to the door of a Sydney restaurant where he found a part-time kitchenhand job. He was fortunate enough to work with an ambitious and passionate Executive Chef, a former apprentice of the year, and found that he loved the camaraderie of the kitchen.

“I knew being a kitchenhand wasn’t a long-term prospect but I loved the environment and I’d seen enough to think a career in cooking would suit me. So I decided to throw myself in the deep end and get some formal training,” he said.

Richard is undertaking his apprenticeship through Hospitality Training North West Roseville while working at The Boat House on Blackwattle Bay. He is thoroughly enjoying learning on the job and the substantial training he is getting in the foundations of cookery.

“Learning on the job is a great motivator and I’m finding that by working in a team I’m finding out a lot about myself—like how I respond to challenges, and appreciating different approaches and opinions, and all that is helping me grow as a person,” he said.

Although Richard is older than most apprentices he believes that his maturity and the work ethic he has developed is advantageous. “It can be tough for an apprentice in a materialistic way when you’re working hard for less return, but if you stick it out it will be absolutely worthwhile. The biggest thing is to stay committed, be reliable and be disciplined.”

Staying positive in the face of setbacks is also very important, he says.  “I don’t feel like the time I spent at University was a big waste. It was a stepping stone, it helped me grow, and I reformulated my life goals as I moved forward. As my experience has shown, your second choice may even be your better choice.”





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