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23 January 2017

Internship Reflexions

by Riyah Mahbubani, Intern at Kerry Hotel Pudong

Working in the Kerry Hotel as an F&B intern initially, I had certain expectations and they were met. There was nothing more and nothing less. As time went on, the mundane daily routine of cleaning this and mise-en-place that took a toll on my personality that really craved change everyday. And in response to realizing that, my motivation decreased and frankly speaking, so did my work ethic. 

I didn’t ever work over time and every time I did, it felt like an obligation. I didn't feel the cohesiveness between me and my team, so as a result I didn’t feel any connection towards them at all. But then just like that, the assistant F&B director asked me to come into the Marketing office three times a week. Finally, I thought to myself, something new. What I didn't realize is that this new position would teach me many things beyond running a restaurant.

 

In the beginning, Vicky the F&B Marketing Manager would instruct me to do smaller scaled and sometimes tedious things, like updating the entertainment schedule for this outlet and completing competitor sheets of all the hotels like Grand Hyatt, Jing-An Shangri-la, JW Marriott, Jumeriah, Novotel, Pullman etc. But as time elapsed, my responsibilities became more complex and sometimes the momentum of the day seemed to rely on me. For example, one of my responsibilities is to compile a Communications presentation that is presented in front of the General Manager every Thursday (which I also now attend). This presentation includes all the potential and suggested promotions that F&B and Sales & Marketing would be keen to investing in. And I’d also have to give weekly updates on community events and Golden Circle enrollments which relies on having strong communication with different departments like F&B reservations for daily revenue for different events. 

Having to collaborate with different departments in high pressure scenarios really taught me to keep face in front of adversity and continue through it. Prior to this, high pressure lead to me being extremely emotional, taking it personally and spending ten to fifteen minutes blinking back tears because I felt overwhelmed. Now, when it comes to it, I can master the tide of my own emotions and return to my job quickly without having to regain composure again

These days, for the first time, I threw my nervousness of talking to people over the phone under me as one of my jobs is to make calls to people in hopes of them gaining interest in our offers. Making 500 sales calls to different people really thickened my skin to realize that the worst it can get is that they say no and the best is a yes, and as a result, I flew past my fear in no time.

In addition to just office work, sometimes I would be asked to participate and support off-site events. This includes going to different schools or events to promote a particular event or campaign. For example, my team and I went to different schools to promote turkey hampers that we are selling for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Doing our job to advertise a certain campaign is one thing but one thing that really motivates me to participate is meeting new people. In that way, meeting new people is hospitality’s greatest asset. A 9-to-6 job is tiring in an office where social interaction is limited but the whole appeal of being in front of guests and getting to know them is what makes it more interesting. From Cheesecake Factory owners to mechanical engineers from Disney, these people all have their own individual stories to tell that make me—the collector—have endless stories to tell my friends and family.

It’s been a month now doing full time sales and marketing and what I can say about my internship so far is this: I feel like the exposure I’ve gotten is far beyond what I truly expected from my internship. I appreciate the efforts of my manager to put me in positions in hopes of learning something different and new. And I can only extend the gratitude thus far because there is so much more to come and so much I’m looking forward to learn.