Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student

Life in the CIA: Post-AOS


In the past few months, I’ve cleared a major hurdle in my education here at the CIA, only to reach another one. Between April and August, I completed my externship and in doing so, was able to stay on campus and complete the rest of the Associates Program (AOS) here at the CIA. So far, post-externship classes have been really fun and informative. It’s all AM classes now and I couldn’t be happier than I am right now. I’m learning so many new techniques and working with all sorts of new and exciting decorating mediums. The one thing that has dawned on me now, is that my academic life here seems to be on fast-forward.

The first batch of classes, which lasted 6 weeks as opposed to the normal 3, went by in a flash. Now, the class I’m in is almost done and it seems like only yesterday that it just began. I’m sure part of this is because the group I’m in is very fun to work with and makes even a 7-hour class seem like nothing. And I’m sure that, the fact that I thoroughly enjoy the material being taught also makes the class go by much quicker. That being said, time seems to be going by and an abnormally fast rate and I only have a handful of classes left before my AOS Graduation on March 23rd, a date that is now rapidly approaching. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t wait for the next few classes in the AOS program to come around, but at the same time, I want to savor each one, because I know that they’ll be really fun classes (see: Chocolates & Confections).

That being said, I still can’t wait for graduation and what comes after. Many students opt to end their time at the CIA here, after AOS is done. Two years and then it’s off to the industry, which is a great idea, don’t get me wrong. I’m just opting for the other route, which means sticking around for the Bachelors Program. It’s another year of schooling, although more academic this time around. Classes such as Management and Accounting form the core of the curriculum, but there are electives such as Food in Literature, Anthropology of Food, and The History of The Americas that make the overarching BPS program that much more interesting. The one thing that really makes the program interesting is the Food, Wine and (Agri)Culture class and the class trip. To me and many of my friends, this is the crux of the program. As a part of this class, you get to visit any one of the following locations and study the culture and food of the area:

  • Northern California
  • Southern California
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • China

I feel like in addition to the trip being incredibly fun, it will really help in expanding your culinary knowledge, as well as help you grow as a person. Can’t wait for BPS.


Author: NJ_Chef

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and aspiring food-writer. 28-year old chef, blogger, eSports fan, gamer, jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

4 thoughts on “Life in the CIA: Post-AOS

  1. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the informative articles you’ve written. I’m starting my own CIA journey in just a few days, and your blog has helped inform me and calm my rattled nerves a bit. Thanks again ^.^


    • Thank YOU for enjoying my blog!!!

      I really appreciate you taking my advice and finding it informative! I wish you the best of luck on your own CIA journey and who knows, maybe we’ll run into each other on campus, haha.


  2. Thank you so much for checking out my blogs! I am very glad that I have been helpful to you 🙂

    Best of luck on getting in to the school! I really hope you get in! The format of classes for incoming students has actually changed. I’ll be highlighting that in a later entry.

    And yes, PLEASE be nice to us baking & pastry students! I really don’t understand why we get so much hate, but I’m glad that you seem to sympathize 🙂


  3. Hey, great blogs! i stumbled across it while searching up CIA externship. Although, I am not in the CIA, I have applied and am waiting on a response. I was just doing research on the school. Your blog gave more information about the CIA than the actual website. Well from a students perspective which is really important to me. I only read your CIA blogs though >.< That sucks that Culinary arts students bash on bakers. i want to go into their culinary arts program, but I also enjoy bread making. Your externship sounded very interesting. Keep up the good work!