Culinary Arts student - Alex Bourke
I think I always knew that I wanted to be a chef – I had done work experience in the kitchens of a number of restaurants before I came to GMIT (MacNean House in Blacklion, Co. Cavan, Café Paradiso in Cork, and the Mustard Seed in Ballingarry, Co. Limerick).
I got 510 points in my Leaving Cert and decided to study culinary arts in GMIT after researching online, and getting advice from the guidance counsellor in my school. My friend was also studying culinary arts in GMIT and was very positive about her experience.
My favourite module on the course is the culinary arts module, particularly the production class. I love being able to learn new kitchen skills. The most challenging module is the accounting module. I find this class quite difficult but the lecturer is extremely helpful and patient.
As culinary arts students, we are encouraged to take part in competitions. In first year I was delighted to have the opportunity to compete in CATEX in Dublin, where I won silver in the chicken cut for sauté competition.
The placements in my course are also brilliant. In first year I went to the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin for three months, and I will shortly be going to the Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania, USA on a 30 week placement.
GMIT has exceeded my expectations. The class sizes are small and all the lecturers are really approachable. The campus itself is small and easy to get around. Galway is a friendly, lively city and is a wonderful place to study and to enjoy student life! I also joined the equestrian society which organises horse-riding lessons and beach rides. This was a great way to meet new people.
My experience in GMIT has been very positive so far. I am so glad that I chose to study here.
I hope to qualify with an honours degree in culinary arts and then travel the world gaining more kitchen experience at all levels. Eventually I would like to own and run my own restaurant either in Galway or Cork!