ICA Second-year student, Shannen Brits, shares her story.

Of course, being rated one of the best chef schools in the world by an acclaimed international body is important.

Of course, winning numerous awards for culinary education excellence and contributions towards this field is important.

Of course, producing award-winning chefs and culinary professionals who are setting benchmarks in the industry is important.

But what is even more significant in choosing the best culinary school for your future studies, is what current and recently graduated students are advocating about their culinary journey.  What are ICA students – those individuals that are actively undergoing the actual education process at the ICA – saying about their experience?

During a recent industry placement block, ICA 2nd-year student, Shannen Brits, emphasized how supported and empowered she felt by ICA placement staff and directors when the going got tough.  When Shannen approached ICA Principal, Letitia Prinsloo, with evidence-based concerns about her particularly challenging situation, the matter was addressed efficiently and positively.  Not once was Shannen’s complications handled for her, but was she rather mentored and empowered into how to best handle challenges in the culinary industry herself.

“After three months of working in the same section at my placement restaurant (and without improving on my marks despite my best efforts), I approached the ICA for advice as the situation became increasingly challenging.  A meeting was scheduled and solutions were put in place.  On Mrs Prinsloo’s strong recommendation, I pushed through and continued my placement at the same establishment with a new found enthusiasm and in a much more positive environment in a new section where I could grow and develop.  The last part of my placement was the best part of the whole four and a half months!  I appreciate the way the staff and head chef handled the matter and how changes were implemented.  I learned such a lot in this placement period and am grateful to have been a part of this particular restaurant team!”

– Shannen Brits: ICA 2nd-year student – 3 Year Diploma in Advanced Culinary Arts, Advanced Pâtisserie & Specialist Culinary Field