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Students Stories: Jenny Langley-Hoole on Leiths Online Mentorship

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Students Stories: Jenny Langley-Hoole on Leiths Online Mentorship

​Every Leiths Online course is led and mentored by a qualified Leiths teacher. Online alumna Jenny Langley-Hoole, who is preparing to open a catering company in France, has completed both the Chef Skills and Plant-Based Cooking course on Leiths Online. Here she shares her experience of studying online with our mentors.

My mentor on Plant-Based Cooking was Melanie Ryder and for Chef Skills it was Ali Young. Initial contact before enrolling was a really great conversation over the phone with Mel. I had contacted Leiths to find out more about the Essential Cooking course at first but I was also interested in the Chef Skills course. I wasn’t sure which level I would be best suited to as I had never had any formal training before. Mel discussed both courses with me and helped me ascertain that I would be best challenged by the Chef Skills course.

Once I enrolled, most contact was through the Leiths Online app. The app was really great for that. It meant that feedback was regular and quick after uploading finished dishes. Questions were answered ASAP.

Both mentors were fantastic throughout giving really great advice and feedback and they were both very knowledgeable about the curriculum and quick to answer questions. Ali really helped with some tricky questions when I was writing my business plan in order to acquire a work visa for France. Ali was always great when responding to questions and tried to give us lots of detailed feedback. We could usually see other students’ questions in the class discussion and that was always useful as we could learn from each other and see answers to questions we hadn’t even thought of yet.

When I made beef fillet, madeira jus and butternut squash purée, I really felt like a real chef. My skills were elevated so much with this one recipe. The jus was incredibly flavoursome and when I tasted it, I totally understood why the method was so involved. A dish of baby beetroot, pistachio oil and tofu salad really excited me too. It gave me the opportunity to refresh previous skills learned in the Plant-Based Cooking course, particularly how to be effective in planning and making elements ahead of time. The dish was so pretty and delicious - great for one of my vegan dinner parties.

Having a mentor made what could have been a very ‘cookie cutter’ online learning experience far more tailored. Some online courses don’t feel as personal. The mentor element of Leiths courses meant that questions were answered by an expert professional and not by some FAQ format. Having mentors like Ali and Mel made the learning happen more in the moment which is what you would usually expect from an in-person experience.”

Author: Hilary Armstrong

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