Tuesday, November 14, 2006 14 No tags Permalink 0

WHAT TO DO?

Oh man, you’d never believe it. I found myself flying back again to NYC for the second time in two weeks. Job interviews. They are exhausting excursions. Especially when you don’t intend on getting a job. I wanted to go to culinary school at the FCI. And I still do. And I applied for jobs…just to see. But I did not expect to get a job. And lo and behold I get one. The offer came in the mail today, just hours after I landed back in Claremont. (The guy who manages the Super Shuttle there knows me by name now! SF one week, NYC the next, and NYC again the next week. I give them good business!)
And now I am confused. Partly because the pay is quite good. And partly because I think I would really enjoy working with the firm. And I have until 12/1 to decide. Or else I don’t get the signing bonus. Stupid incentives. And how easily I am taken by them! Either way, French Culinary Institute or Pricewaterhouse Coopers, I’d still be living in NYC next year – and that makes me happiest. Now it just boils down to whether I want to invest in pastry school or actually generate and income in auditing.

And man, I had this all planned out so well! I was to graduate a year early, which I’m right on track for. Use the money saved from one year’s tuition to pay for culinary school…and then…cook! But now I can audit! Cook or audit? Go into debt or make money? For the longest time I was so set on becoming an investment banker, and working in the business world is appealing to me in a certain unexplainable way. I’m leaning towards auditing at the moment…but so many factors are pulling me in different ways. You see, you can always go into cooking later, but if you don’t start audit now, it’ll be harder to get a similar job in the future and much much harder to get your CPA, given that everything you learn in college will be forgotten after years in the kitchen. And it’d be good to know your finances, be able to handle your accounts and debit and credit the hell out of this and that when running your own restaurant. Which I still intend to do! But fooooood, it’s a calling…how long must I wait?! But even if I do venture into food, can I handle the hours? Can I live that type of life? And health insurance is expensive stuff man…won’t be covered by my parent’s HMSA as of May 2007. When did I get so old?

So I’ll go think now…

And after I’ve made up my mind, I gotta tell you about all these awesome things I ate in the city this past week. You would have died, it was so delicious…spicy beef bings, Balthlazar caneles, gorgeous almond croissants, blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter, vanilla waffles and quince compote…it was a feast for pastry craving tastebuds!

Address? You can pick one!

PricewaterhouseCoopers
300 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10017

French Culinary Institute
462 Broadway
New York, NY 10013

14 Comments
  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    Hi Kathy – It’s nice to have choices…and you’re right – you’re young, and Culinary School will always be there.

  • Chubbypanda
    November 14, 2006

    I faced a similar choice four years ago. Gods help me, I went with the money and never looked back.I’m Taiwanese-Chinese. I have to say, “Go with the money.” You can always go into debt later.- Chubbypanda

  • anonymous
    November 14, 2006

    raking in the dough?? or baking the dough???though i cringe when i have to do debits/credit, i’d say go with PWC. as you learned in bschool, the opportunity cost is basically double ur offered salary. i think you’ll be able to finance many nice meals, not only with your salary, but with your potential corporate AMEX?? after putting in the short stint and raking in the dough, you’ll be able to spend the rest of your years baking the dough…btw, i have a few friends at pwc la if you need anything…henry

  • anonymous
    November 14, 2006

    i dont know about you, but rich corporate executives always get the best quality food for lunches! i wanna see what our lovely corporate americans eat!!!

  • anonymous
    November 14, 2006

    I went through the same decison over 20 years ago and the best advice I got was to treat your first 2 years at PWC as Graduate School where they pay you instead of the other way around!!!! Get your CPA certificate while you still remember what you learned in school!The old rule was when auditing a clinet you “HAD” to eat lunch every single day somewhere outside of the Client’s offices (i.e., you couldn’t brown bag it in their Lunch room). So just think of all the NYC Lunch posts you’ll get to make!

  • anonymous
    November 14, 2006

    http://chefsy.multiply.com

  • Kathy YL Chan
    November 15, 2006

    Hey Chubbypanda!Dreams are one thing, reality and money are another! The money, money…man, why is money so important?! Thanks for all your help, I’m pretty sure I’ll go with PwC – besides, I like numbers…and I love expense account lunches, lol :)Hey Henry!We’d be raking in and baking the dough at the same time if I had it my way! I am leaning towards PwC…the AMEX is looking pretty attractive…maybe I’ll get an ibanker boyfriend, hehehe…and plus it’ll be good to have some income when I get my first apartment in nyc! Hey Ed!I will make it my duty to do good corporate eating – and post on it!Hey JBC!I think I’m going into auditing at the moment – it’ll be good to have income fresh out of college (and to have insurance covered!) Thanks for all the advice! And the CPA – must get that out of the way asap…oooh, and then maybe I can be the CPA’ed chef, lol :)

  • Robyn
    November 15, 2006

    God, I’m jealous…you have a sweet job! YOU’RE USEFUL! OH MY GOD. I think most of us college grads may not be so useful…:(I wouldn’t know what to choose as I naively forget that I need to rake in the dough and not just eat it. So. I dunno. Money is nice. I suppose a lot of people do the chefing thing later in life if they really want to, so maybe that’s the way to do it. (I’m going to post something on my site about this guy…in his l ate 30s I think who’s been pastry chef at this awesome place in Spain for 1-2 years; that’s inspiring!)So YAY CONGRATS and omg if I live in NYC next year too then we will eat way too much!

  • anonymous
    November 15, 2006

    u know kathy, i wish i had a choice like urs…i mean, i’ve been going with my heart and am, as u know, applying to writing school. guess i’ll be in debt sometime soon because of it. dunno if i’ll be able to get a high-paying job after it. dunno about anything at all. i’m finding myself increasingly wondering – should i give up this dream for now and apply later, after a couple years of working? but will i be able to get back to school after getting regular paychecks? i feel like crying. i don’t know what to do. what’s the point? and why is my love there? aaaaaaa…i need major help! u go with the money though. they’re all right…you’ll earn well, get to eat well, then perhaps be able to go to culinary school in a couple of years, funding it urself! see why i want a choice like urs?? at least ur not applying outside ur country!!

  • anonymous
    November 15, 2006

    hehe…on a little more serious note, i think only a handful of people have the passion/talent/luck to live out their lives outside of the normal professional career. it’s up to you to decide whether or not you have what it takes, and to pursue whatever it is that you truly want. if you’re confident, you should go for what your heart really desires.i think most people tend to go the safer, more conservative route and enjoy our passions as personal luxuries we set aside some extra time for. it’s not a bad thing, but every once in a while, you’ll likely run into a daydream or two about the other life you could’ve had.*goes off to buy lottery ticket* heehhe

  • Kathy YL Chan
    November 15, 2006

    Hey Robyn!I think I’m going with the money for now…I do like accounting (it’s really not that boring :)…I like wearing business suits…and I love expense account lunches, hehehe. Besides, I have to pay for my food somehow!Oh man, you HAVE to live in nyc next year. That would be so much fun, we could put ourselves into sugar and pastry and bread comas every weekend. Looking forward to the post on the pastry chef – I wish I could have studied abroad with you! Enjoy the rest of your semester in Paris – it’s passing by so quickly! :)Hey Pallavi!You’re right, I’ll stick with the money for now, it’s just that I hate doing it all the while thinking, what if, what if I went to culinary school?! All these what ifs, it’s enough to drive you insane! I think you should stick to applying for grad school – you’ve already gone through so much work, and it’s not like you’re going off the have “fun” (which is essentially how I view pastry) but you’ll actually be learning something practical. And the job opportunities in publishing, especially in the city, will be amazing after you’ve graduated from any of the school you said you were applying for. Just go through with the apps – it’s worth a shot and you still have time to change your mind in the spring :)

  • anonymous
    November 16, 2006

    u know..i totally understand why u wanna go to culinary school. just looked through the FCI site..and man..it looks great! just the kind of stuff i see u doing one day :) don’t worry..it will come – that day, the pastry, the chef’s hat, the good food that you’ll create yourself..the day will come. all the very best and thanx for encouraging me in applying. i think i will, then let’s see..depending on how much financial aid i get or don’t, let’s see if i should go ahead with it then.

  • RON
    November 16, 2006

    Pineapple Room seeks accountant. Now that’s the best of both worlds.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    November 17, 2006

    Hey Kirk!Thanks for the advice – I’ll think I’m going to do accounting. At least I’ll be able to afford my obscene eating budget, hehe :)Hey Pallavi!I know! Ins’t the FCI site attractive – and they’re expanding the school and buying out so much more prime land!!! (tuition will probably go up accordingly! :))…But do the applications, applying never hurt, and then you can decide from there. Good luck! My fingers are crossed for you! Hey Ron!GASP! Scandalous! And Hawaii is such a small place – and to list all their names! The shame!!! (but be sure to have to loco moco at the pineapple room, it SOSOSOSO good!)

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