“Despite working in hawker centres for a long time, I still lacked certifications that many employers were looking for. So would I be working in the restaurant I’m in now without HCSA Academy? Probably not. It really helps when employers hear that I have gone through this culinary course. Although I’m still getting used to working in a restaurant, it’s a good experience to upgrade myself and make use of all the stuff I learned.
I chose to sign up because I was always interested in cooking so the course sounded like a good and new idea to me – I could get a new experience, make new friends and basically find something good out of everything else in my life at that time. I felt encouraged to know that my family was supportive of me in pursuing cooking.
Of course, what I enjoyed most was getting to cook and taste what I myself cooked! It was memorable seeing how all the trainees didn’t know each other at first but after a while we started to enjoy each other’s presence through jokes and laughter. I’m very thankful for the chefs because they taught me a lot of skills and also encouraged me. Most importantly, they showed me that there’s a time to have fun, but when we work we must be serious.
The Academy found me a job at the restaurant I now work at, and I really enjoy where I am. To me, I am always keen to learn as long as they are willing to teach me. At the same time, I put to use the stuff I learned as a trainee. My hope is to move to a bigger restaurant in town one day because I like new experiences and I want to challenge myself. After all, if I do the same thing forever, then what’s the point of everything else I learned!
My advice to others is to just ‘go for it’ even it people say that it’s ‘lehcheh’ because they will never know till they try. Some people want to quit the course because they start feeling bored at the start, but always remember that in everything we learn, the boring part has to come first before we can start to enjoy the exciting ones.”
Testimony by Rawi, Graduate of HCSA Academy