The Student & the Somm.....

Hi All,

I'm in need of some input from my fellow bottle slingers out there. Some of you know me and are aware that I became a Somm after a long Army career. I've decided recently that it's time to use those education benefits and go to big kid school. My plan is to enter the SHA-CIA alliance program and earn both a culinary associates and a hospitality bachelors from the Hotel School. I've already been accepted to CIA and start in Hyde Park this October.

Now the quandry: I attended the Advanced course last year in Dallas and was passed over for the exam this year, so with only two years left on the clock I'm concerned about my chances of getting into the exam as a student and not working the working actively. Of course things like prep time, a week off from school for the exam and such things are a concern as well but I'm hoping some of you out there may have some insight. 

Should I just bite the bullet and plan on having to retake the course? Pursue my wine studies on a less frantic road (WSET or such)? Going to school finally is a huge goal for me and I think the programs will make me a better Somm overall, but I'm not keen on losing what momentum I've built up in my career.

Thanks for any input and cheers.

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  • I believe, and I do not speak for the court, but I think the 3 year thing is you are supposed to sit for the exam within 3 years after taking the course.  Then you have 3 times to pass the exam before the recommend you take the class again, but even that may be case by case.

    I attended the course in 2014, sat my first advanced in 2015, skipped 2016, sat again in 2017 (came close but did not pass) and I am sitting again next month here in 2018.

    So fret not.  Keep studying and stay the course.  Your time will come soon enough.  

    Good Luck!