Qualities and Education of Pastry Chefs and Bakers

Almost everyone loves eating desserts. For those of you that enjoy making them, you should definitely consider becoming a baker and/or pastry chef. In this line of work, you will be creating and making your very own desserts. From candies to cookies, muffins and cakes, there are an endless amount of food items that can be considered pastries. Another great reason to enter this profession, other than the fact that you will be doing something you love, is because you can make good money.

There are many things that you will have to learn to become a successful baker or pastry chef. You will need to join culinary programs. Such programs are large in number. When it comes to locating baking and pastry schools in the US, you can rest assured that you will find one that accommodates your wants and needs. From weekend courses to nighttime classes, you can earn your culinary degree at your own pace.

Qualities of Successful Bakers and Pastry Chefs

It is important that you understand that there are several skills you will need to master as you earn a degree specialization in baking and pastry arts. Such skills include the following:

- Attention to detail: A small change made to a recipe can result in a very favorable dish. On the other hand, the wrong change can result in a recipe becoming completely inedible. As a pastry chef or baker, you must be strongly attentive to detail, always paying attention to what you are doing even while multitasking.

- Stamina: You will likely spend much of your time as a baker or pastry chef on your feet. In fact, in this line of work, it is not uncommon for culinary professionals to be on their feet more than 10 hours a day. To make sure you excel, you will need to be in good physical shape. You must also be willing to get up early in the morning because many pastry and bakery shops start cooking their goodies earlier than 3 a.m. every morning.

- Customer relations: Bakers and pastry chefs who own their own shops will need to have top-notch customer relations skills. From being interpersonal to dealing effectively with customer complaints, a thriving business will only be obtainable if you have people skills.

- Creativity: To be a good baker or pastry chef, you need to be creative with the goodies that you make. From new icing flavors to oddly shaped cookies, being creative will help ensure your success in the culinary industry.

Becoming a Baker or Pastry Chef

There are a couple of paths you can take to obtain a specialization in baking and pastry arts. The first path involves going to baking and pastry schools in US. In doing this, you will join culinary programs, leading to the earning of a culinary arts degree. The second path involves obtaining many years of experience working in the baking and pastry industry. No matter what route you take, there is no undervaluing the advantages you will gain with a culinary degree. Even if you have 20 years of experience as a baker or pastry chef, there are some employers that will not mandate you without a culinary degree.

The culinary programs that you can take part in will vary in length and coursework. Some last for 12 months while others take up to four years to graduate. If you are looking for a quick way to enter into a pastry chef or baker position, you will want to take part in a certification program. For a job position that is accompanied by a higher paying salary, you will want to obtain an actual degree.

Computer Technology – Online Learning Possibilities

Computers are used in virtually every business and home across the United States. Business professionals and individuals may know how to use a computer to accomplish all of their needs but many people are lost when it comes to fixing a computer error or creating an information system. This is why online learning in computer technology is beneficial.

The possibilities open to students inside the realm of computer technology can have an individual doing everything from installing computers to creating programs for computers. The route of education is solely up to the student.

Approaching this field can be overwhelming but knowing the options prior to enrolling in a program is a helpful first step. Students who have no desire to create computer programs or build systems can earn a different education in computer technology. Students who like working with computers can learn how to repair, maintain, and control computer viruses through different certificate and degree programs. On the other hand students that want to learn how to create computer programs and work with businesses to establish information can find certificate and degree programs to enter. Students interested in computer technology should consider what tasks and responsibilities they want to accomplish in the professional industry. This is helpful because it allows students to pick the right degree path from the beginning of their education. Not having this luxury may result in having to switch to another program because the program selected may not be the correct path to enter their desired field.

The learning prospects can have students earning a degree from an associate to a doctorate depending on the field of study. Other fast paced programs may only require students to work through a certificate program in order to be licensed to carry out work duties. To become a computer technician students can work through an approximate 20 credit hour certificate program. This program would be a great choice to learn about all the areas of computer software and hardware. A program like this teaches students how to perform support and maintenance on computers. Students that receive this certificate can work with business and personal computers.

A more in depth computer technology degree can be gained through computer information science. Educational study at the bachelor level trains students to create applications to serve a businesses computer needs. Learning in this area would prepare students to provide continued assistance in running a businesses information systems and databases. Aspects of education at this level and degree have students studying how to prevent system failures, how to create easy to use systems, and how to work with technology communications.

Once a student knows what area of the industry they want to enter, choosing a degree won’t seem like such a daunting task. Students need to consider how many years they can dedicate to learning. Choosing a program that is feasible depends on what an individuals career goals are and how much time they can give to education. Think about these two areas before picking a program in computer technology and the options will significantly lower producing an overall better decision.

Fashion in the 1950′s

The 1950′s spawned a wide variety of original and distinctive styles, presented with a classic new age twist. For America, recently recovering from catastrophic tragedies related to the second World War, the 1950′s brought restored hope; a chance for a new way of life whose destiny would be decided by them alone. This metamorphosis of America was heavily represented by fashion.

Women especially dramatically altered the way they dressed and presented themselves; during the evolution of an increasingly liberated society, women began to favor casual, relaxed clothing over traditional dress rules and associated formality of previous decades. Some of the most admired new trends for women in the 1950′s included button-up sweaters with simple necklines, fitted blouses, and full knee-length skirts. However, the most prevalent fashion for women during this time was dresses. Most dresses were worn casually, and were accentuated with circle skirts, halter straps, or small collars. Evening wear dresses seemed soft yet daring, coming in many pastel hues and accompanied with bold ruffles, tulle trim, and dazzling velvet bows. The fitted evening wear of this period, which was usually sleeveless or strapless, was also emphasized with sheer silk.

Growing increasingly popular, the full skirts of the 1950′s needed some sort of support in order to maximize their look. To address this problem, Nylon petticoats were created exclusively to be worn in conjunction with full skirts to create fullness. Nylon was a favorable material because of its high quality and easy care wash. This fullness it created transformed the skirt who gave nothing more than a gentle swish, into a glamorous royal-like flutter. Another significant fashion of this period is the swing coat, developed in the last 1940′s by Jacques Fath. The silhouette of the swing coat was “designed perfectly to cover full skirts, and also ideal for the post war high pregnancy rate”. Another trend in the 1950′s was the “trapeze dress: a swinging dress almost triangular in shape and designed to be worn with low shoes and bouffant hairstyles.” The trapeze dress was later modified into a shorter baby doll tent style dress, which was popular in the next decade. Perhaps one of the most classic fashion garments from the 1950′s was Christian Dior’s H-line of 1954, which consisted of a slender tunic-style suit with a slim skirt. His other popular fashions during this period were his A and Y lines. Dior has long been a dominant force in the fashion world, especially in the 1950′s. His creative and usually voluminous garments gave women a more feminine touch. Another designer, Hubert Givenchy created a Parisian style dress in 1957 which he called the Sack. The Sack began the trend of straighter-waist dresses. Initially, it developed into the “fitted darted sheath dress and later into the loose straight short shift dress.”

Coco Chanel was another major fashion designer in the 1950′s. In contrast to popular full and flouncy skirts, Chanel began creating the boxy, now classic Chanel suit jackets and skirts in trimmed and textured tweed. The materials Chanel chose were always richly textured, which contributed to the finished product’s high prices. Chanel’s silhouette of her suits was completely straight, divinely lined with silk. Her look was classic, refined, and adorned with details. Chanel also accessorized many of her designs with strings of pearls and collarless jackets, both of which were considered fashionable in the 1950′s. One of the most classic trends from the 1950′s is the empire line, which was introduced in the late 1950′s. This style was applied to dresses and shirts mostly, and was adored by teenagers who looked innocently childlike, hence the coined phrase “baby doll style”. During the 1950′s, all teenagers were expected to dress like their elders. The empire line was also a striking contrast from what most mothers wore at the time, which contributed to its high approval among teenagers in America.

Until the 1950′s, the term “teenagers” was not commonly used, and certainly not a targeted market group. But with a new range of influences, including film, television, rock music, and magazines, teenagers began to be respected and acknowledged in the community. Often nicknamed the “Space Age”, the 1950′s was an important time in history for science and development as well. So many aspects of life changed during this period, perhaps partially attributed to the recent end of World War II. America had emerged from war with prosperity and a new identity. A new consumer-based society was “forging ahead, helped by such new developments as the credit card system” (Baker, 6). These innovative conditions however produced a similar effect on the fashion industry: while so many things in the lives of Americans were changing, they stayed clear from the radical, intense fashions while preferring the normalcy of standard trends. For once, being normal felt good. Another huge change in the 1950′s was the increased ownership of television sets. Popular television programs such as I Love Lucy connected Americans on both sides of the Atlantic, bringing a sense of unity in the country. Segregation was ended in 1954, which brought together black and white students for the first time though racial tensions were still high, and also birthed the existence of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. Constant fears of communism reaching the states held many Americans tight with fear. More changes brought forth in the 1950′s include the discovery of DNA, the launching of the first space satellite, an increase of women in the work field, and of course, rock and roll. All of these economic, social, and political changes in the world affected the American citizens, and therefore the fashion industry.

Regardless of the world’s issues, the top fashions that drove the industry were more influenced by those who were idolized by the consumers: celebrities. Some of the most popular celebrities in the 1950′s include Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Ricky Nelson, and of course, Elvis Presley. Marilyn Monroe’s sexy yet simple style was a widely imitated across America, by women of all shapes and sizes. Elvis Presley was another huge influence in the 1950′s; not only was he adored by millions of girls, but he was also an inspiration for men. In a time where men only wore traditional attire, Elvis tore down all barriers which confined men to navy suits and ties. Elvis typically wore clothes that were more popular among the African American population. His wild pegged pants and zoot suits concerned the conservative community of America, who hardly approved of such a “gender bending, race-integrating star” (SOURCE). Elvis’ bright and baggy clothes, makeup, and so called obscene dancing all acted as evidence of his single handed destruction of the morals of America’s youth. Not all men followed the examples Elvis set however. In fact, more men in this time period dressed conventionally than not.

Most men in the 1950′s maintained clothes with casual and modest colors, including dark blue, dark brown, and charcoal. The occasional daring young man would wear pastel pink to stand out; a trend that was just gaining momentum in the 1950′s. Cardigan sweaters were popular among athletes, and older men. Additionally popular were fitted vests, plaid flannels, and collared jackets. There was flexibility in men’s casual wear, and was a common sight to see shirt tails sticking out. Basic fedora-style hats were also a staple item in the 1950′s for men.

Hats were also fashionable accessory for women in the 1950′s, for the reason that they were believed to add a final touch of glamour to any woman’s outfit. The pillbox hat, first introduced by Balenciaga and later modeled by Jackie Kennedy, became one of the trendiest accessories of the decade. Several glorious hat styles existed in the 1950′s. Some hats were covered in flower petals, while others were adorned with swirls of georgette. Gloves were also worn often by women, especially those of elite social status. Some were made of cotton, which was much more affordable than leather or nylon. Though gloves came in many colors and styles, clean gloves whose color was white or cream were the most favored. Fur trimmings and adorned collars were also extremely fashionable. Brooches too, were considered a glamorous accessory.

The 1950′s was a decade in which fashion changed dramatically from previous generations. Multiple influences from political debates, to economic issues, to new age celebrities and mass media all influenced the distinct styles and trends which identify the 1950′s. Recovering from the casualties of World War II brought a lasting change to America, which was reflected in the fashions of this decade. The American women craved glamorous simplicity in their new lives, and as a new and liberated society evolved, the women of America began to liberate themselves by choosing which fashions they felt depicted them best. Not only were the 1950′s important in history, but they also greatly transformed the face of fashion in America.

History of Mergers and Acquisitions

In today’s business, mergers and acquisitions are regular occurrences. In fact, it happens so often that many consumers can’t keep up with the new company names or products. To continue thriving in our economy, companies have to grow and evolve, and that sometimes means the combination of two companies will work better for the general public and the companies involved. There are two general types of mergers and acquisitions. The first is the horizontal merger, and the other is the vertical merger. A horizontal merger is two very similar companies joining together to work as one. An example of this would be two telecommunications companies joining forces to offer similar services after the merger. While a horizontal merger is perfectly acceptable, there are many who frown on it because it can offer fewer competitors if they are located in the same market areas. When two companies merge to form one, consumers often find they no longer have a choice between two companies and must, instead, deal only with the one new company. Without the healthy competition between two companies, customer service may decline while prices skyrocket. Essentially, a monopoly is created and consumers may suffer.

A vertical merger happens when a client and a company merge. An example of this might be when a hot dog company merges with a hot dog bun company. Because both products are still offered and they work together, consumers get the products they need. A vertical merger does not eliminate the competition for a particular company and is therefore often seen as a much more welcome combination.

Mergers and acquisitions have been a part of business for hundreds of years, though they weren’t as prevalent as they are today. The first significant occurrence of mergers happened in the late 1800s and early 1900s, though the concept wasn’t new even then. Since that large wave of mergers and acquisitions, which has become known as the Great Merger Movement, there have been six more significant waves of merger and acquisitions. In most cases, the mergers are peaceful and welcome on the part of both companies involved. The 1990s saw several hostile takeovers, however. The years since 2000 have seen many international mergers and acquisitions, and this is changing the face of business. There is no doubt that these new overseas mergers and acquisitions will continue to alter the way we do business, and chances are that company takeovers and fusions will shape the global economy for several years to come.