Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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A day In the Life as a Front Office Management Trainee by Greg Staggolis

Photo B

I am currently completing my internship at the Sukhothai which is a 5 star luxury hotel located in downtown Thailand, Bangkok.

I am presently the front office management trainee from June 11th, 2013- November 11th, 2013.  I have been participating in a lot of training and heading to different departments so I do not have a set routine yet. I originally started off my training with the concierge department to learn how they operate with the front desk.  I also received training and spent a few days with the reservations department, the housekeeping department, the business center, along with a few hours in other outlets within the hotel such as the spa to learn how they operate as well.  My work environment is well air-conditioned as the weather is very hot here and I am still learning the Thai culture/language as the days go on.

As everyday is very different, I decided to choose one of the recent days I was at front desk to complete my blog.  As a management trainee I perform the duties of and get trained by the duty manager.

I commute to work by walking, as the condominium I live in is a 15-minute walk from the hotel.  I wake up to get ready for work at 07:00 a.m. and I am out the door by 07:40 a.m.  (This will change, as I will start at various times through out my term here).  During my walk to work, I pass many sidewalk food vendors  selling plentiful amounts of Thai food, most of which would be considered a ‘unique’ breakfast in North America.

Photo A

By 8:00 a.m. I am at the hotel greeted by the hotel security guards at the employee entrance.  Everyone at the hotel is very friendly and I am always welcomed by warm smiles upon arriving to work.  I sign in with my fingerprint, go to the uniform department to pick up my suit and change in the locker room for my shift.  I then head to the staff canteen for breakfast and chat with friends I have made from various departments before heading up to the front desk to begin my shift.

At 8:30 a.m., I sit at the front desk and perform basic duties like answering calls, reading emails, making keys, prepping the afternoon shift, read the duty manager log, and check guests in/out of the system.  I also have to go to the back and memorize VIP guest names and faces so I am aware of whom they are when they arrive at the hotel.

It’s a little different at this hotel, as when guests come to sit, we have to stand, Wai and say Sawadee Kraup to them, which is a Thai greeting.  Also, when we check guests in, we physically walk them to the room, giving them a hotel orientation along the way.  Each guest also receives a room orientation as we have a variety of different suites, which highlights all the features of the room (E.g. you have to put the keycard in the socket for the lights/A/C to operate, show them the Japanese toilet if one is present , show them the complimentary fruit/chocolate truffles, electric curtains), along with any other special requests they have made (Photo F).  This process increases the time it takes to get the guest to the room especially when we have to follow the LQA (Leading Quality Assurance) standards the hotel follows.

Around 12:00 p.m. I head to the staff canteen for an hour to eat lunch.  During lunch, someone always asks me if the food is too spicy or asks me ‘who taught you to eat spicy food?’  Food is very important to the Thai people and they are very impressed that I can eat spicy food as foreigners in the past brought their own food because they could not eat the canteen food.  For the Thai employees, the canteen has regular food and they are probably sick of it, but to me, every meal is a new experience as the food changes daily.Photo G

At 1:00 p.m. I head back to the desk and greet guests as they begin to arrive at the hotel.  Around 1:30 p.m. a guest called down because they are feeling ill so we called the Global Doctor for them.  I brought the doctor up to guest’s room when they arrived and obtained a report from them prior to the doctors’ departure.  I keep track of the timings, details, and follow up with the guest later on, as I will have to create a report for the duty manager log.  I also have to coordinate a get-well card for the guest as well.  I’ve been here for 3 weeks now and I’ve seen guests get diagnosed with a variety of illnesses ranging from bronchitis, appendicitis, and gastroenteritis.

At 2:30 p.m. I attended the briefing for the afternoon shift.  After that meeting, I went to the business center to attend another meeting about upcoming groups that will be staying at the hotel in following weeks.

 

Photo HAt 3:30 p.m. the duty manager brought me to the accounting office to train me on how to sign the money out so that the front desk can have a sufficient amount over the weekend.

At 3:45 p.m. I update the safe and stay with the front desk to help out where needed.

At 4:00 p.m. the duty manager brought me up to train me how to open the safety box in the guest room when the battery runs out or any other issue with it arises so I am aware on how to do it when I am alone.

At around 5:30 p.m. I begin making the incident reports for the duty manager log and assist in writing other duty managers logs as well.

At around 6:00 p.m. I begin to close my shift by finishing up any left over work that has accumulated over the day or deal with any issues that might arise and usually leave around 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. which is not that bad as it is not unusual for other staff to work 14 hours in a day.  Working a minimum of 10 hours a day for 5 days a week is still something I am getting used to as I get exhausted by the end of the week.  After I am done my shift I head down to the canteen and eat a quick dinner before changing.  I then sign out and walk home.  I spend weekends swimming in the condominium pool and enjoying the view of Bangkok from the balcony.  There are a lot of local markets nearby and many temples/site-seeing places to visit.  I rode in a tuk tuk, which are famous in Thailand and enjoy the wonderful culture I am blessed to embrace.

 

Links

http://www.sukhothai.com

http://www.tourismthailand.org/home

http://www.sukhothai.com/A-Place-Apart/

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g293916-d302770-Reviews-The_Sukhothai_Bangkok-Bangkok.html

http://www.sukhothai.com/Accommodation/

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A day in the Life at The Sukhothai Bangkok by Patricia Presan

 

Patricia

                My Internship position is that of a Management Trainee in Food and Beverage at The Sukhothai Bangkok, a hotel that is part of the Leading Hotels of the World. I will intern for 5 months, from June 11th until November 11th.  The location of the hotel is in the heart of the business district in downtown Bangkok, Thailand. The hotel is a 5 star property and is currently rated among the first 10 hotels in Bangkok. A day at work consists of learning new skills, meeting new people, and dealing with a culture almost opposite of that of my own. As a Food and Beverage Management Trainee, I will rotate through the different Food and Beverage outlets that are available at the hotel throughout the 5 months: La Scala (Italian fine dining restaurant), Celadon (Thai cuisine), Colonnade (daily breakfast and lunch buffet) and the hotel banquets department.

Day in my Life

9:45 am: Wake up and get ready for work. Although I start my shift at 12, the hotel’s grooming standards require intricate make-up and hair every day, so I must get up early to finish getting ready according to standards.

11:20 am: I was lucky to find accommodation about 15 minutes away from the hotel; therefore I walk every day to work. The weather can take a toll on me some days, as it is extremely warm and humid, and daily temperatures vary from 30 to 35 degrees. Slowly I am getting accustomed to it.Hotel Logo

11: 40 am: Once I reach the hotel, I scan my finger to sign in, and proceed to the uniform room to pick up my manager suit, which gets cleaned and pressed every day.

12: 00 pm: I am on the floor and ready to work at the first outlet I was assigned to for one and a half months of my internship, La Scala, which is a fine dining Italian restaurant, highly recognized for its amazing food and service in Bangkok. My main duties include taking orders, pouring wine, assisting other servers and the bartender with anything that the guests may require. Last order is at 2:30 pm after which the restaurant closes down and preparations begin for the dinner service.La Scala Restaurant

3:00 pm: At this time, 3 other servers and I will set up and get the restaurant prepared for dinner, when the restaurant reopens at 6:30 pm. Duties include polishing cutlery, setting up wine glasses,  looking at the reservations and preparing tables accordingly, as well as many other little tasks that are necessary to switch from lunch to dinner service.

4:30 pm: This is my favourite time of the day. Break time. I go to the staff canteen, where every day there is a new menu. There are many varieties of Thai curries, stir-fry’s, rice dishes, soups and desserts. Every day is exciting because I get to try and experience different Thai specialties and recipes. I have adjusted to the level of spiciness that Thai food is known for, and many of my colleagues appreciate my willingness to try and experiment all the different condiments and other offerings that are available at the canteen.

5:30 pm: This is the time where the final tasks are done in preparation for reopening the restaurant at 6:30 pm.  Lighting candles, folding napkins, filling buckets with ice, etc.

6:00 pm: For half an hour, the restaurant manager, will conduct a small briefing meeting, where my colleagues and I are informed about the various events that are happening around the hotel. Because The Sukhothai is a prestigious hotel in Bangkok, every day there are many VIP’s that either stay at the hotel, or dine at La Scala, or use any of the other facilities, and all hotel members must be aware of their needs and requests.

6:30 pm: The restaurant opens for dinner. There are many steps to be taken when offering fine dining service, so I am performing many tasks during the dinner rush. Things such as opening and pouring wine and champagne following proper procedures, serving food, walking around and ensuring all guests are happy and enjoying their meals, etc. I must stick out from all the other employees, as many guests call me over and ask me to tell them where I am from and what I am doing in Thailand. I enjoy talking to all the different guests, since many of them are either CEO’s of big companies, or local celebrities. It is exciting telling them my story and hearing theirs back in return.  This goes on for about 3 and a half hours until the end of my shift.

10:00 pm: This is when my shift ends. After 10 hours, I go to my locker, change, take my uniform to the laundry room, scan my finger to sign out, and proceed to walk home.

Every day is fairly similar regarding the tasks that I am required to perform, however it is quite exciting since I get to meet a lot of people and learn many new things. All my colleagues are very friendly and have taken upon themselves to help me adjust to the Thai culture, and every day they teach me a new Thai word, offer suggestions on what/where I should visit during my days off, and overall ensure that I am being included with all the other members of the hotel. So far I have been very impressed and overwhelmed with their kindness and the support they have offered me.

View from balconyAs a Management Trainee I am entitled to have the weekend off. I spend my Saturdays and Sundays visiting temples, roaming around different food markets in my neighbourhood and experiment with the local cuisine, as well as relax and lounge around the pool of my condominium complex ( I am lucky to have found a very nice building with a pool and gym).

Overall, my experience in Thailand has been positive, and I am looking forward to what is to come in the next months, as so far it’s just been the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

Links:

http://www.sukhothai.com/     –  Hotel website

http://www.lhw.com/     – Leading Hotels of the World website

http://www.sukhothai.com/Dining/La-Scala   La Scala

http://www.sukhothai.com/Dining/Colonnade  Colonnade

http://www.sukhothai.com/Dining/Celadon  Celadon

http://www.bangkoktourist.com/   Tourism Bangkok

http://www.tourismthailand.org/Where-to-Go/Bangkok  Tourism Thailand, Bangkok

 


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A Day in the Life at Sawridge Group of Companies – Corporate Office by Patrick Twinn

Sawridge

 

Every day is truly a different and unique experience while working for the Sawridge brand. Typically, my day begins at 7 AM when my alarm goes off and I prepare for the upcoming day with my traditional routine of eating a healthy breakfast, having a quick shower and then deciding on what suit to wear. I like to be out of the house by 8 AM so I can arrive at the office by 8:15 AM, although I have no definitive start or end time as I essentially act as a consultant for the Vice President Operations, Terry Hartz.

Patrick & VP Terry Hartz

My official title is “Manager Operational Support”. I work at Sawridge’s head office which is located in the west side of Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton. Sawridge is a regional First Nations owned company which is managed by an independent management team that reports to a Board of Trustees. Sawridge currently operates four hotels in Alberta, namely in Edmonton South, Fort McMurray, Jasper and Peace; the company is also opening another property in the Taiga Nova Industrial Park in Fort McMurray under the Best Western flag.

 

My position is quite unique, as I essentially support all of the properties in every aspect of hotel operations. Some of my current projects include implementing a brand-wide software program known as Cheftec which is aimed at improving recipe & inventory costing, inventory control, purchasing, ordering and nutritional analysis. This project is proving to be a challenging task, as it requires the respective property chefs to ‘buy into’ the program. However, this is surely easier said than done, as this program requires that all the properties input each inventory item into the system manually which is very time consuming and tedious.

Business card

On this given Friday, June 28th 2013, my day will begin a little differently. Instead of arriving at the office between 8 AM and 8:30 AM, the Vice President Terry and I had a meeting with some of our major suppliers, Sysco Canada and Sodexo. We arrived at Sysco’s office about 15 minutes before our 9 AM meeting. The meeting began in a very typical manner, as I was introduced by the VP to the respective representatives from each company. Once the meeting began, we began discussing the procurement services, specifically the rebate program offered by major food suppliers. Most of the major food suppliers offer major vendors annual, semi-annual or quaterly rebates based on the volume of goods purchased, which typically can ranges between 1-2%. We looked at how Sawridge could improve their rebates and then were taken on a tour of the Sysco factory.

After the tour and meeting at Sysco, my supervisor Terry hit the road and got an early start to his Canada Day long weekend. Unfortunately for me, I was not granted this same opportunity as I had some emails to catch up on and had a conference call at 2 PM. I arrived back in the office around 11:30AM and began catching up on emails and other miscellaneous items. Once I got back to the office, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that we were all going out for lunch as one of the employees in the office was leaving in a week for another opportunity. The company took us out to the Cactus Club Café in Edmonton’s iconic West Edmonton Mall.

After lunch I quickly reviewed my notes for my telephone meeting with a representative from Bell Canada. One of my other tasks was to find out TV and Internet options for our new build in Fort McMurray. The phone call lasted about 15 minutes in length where we discussed various options for the new build. Once again I was pleasantly surprised during the phone call as the representative was coming to Edmonton in a few weeks and wanted to take me out for a round of golf. Obviously I accepted this ‘networking’ invitation and will be golfing with Sylvain in a few weeks.

Desk

After the telephone meeting with Sylvain I wrapped up all of my other emails and tasks. Today was a good day, as I was out of the office by 3:30 PM. The company is pretty generous when it comes to holidays and usually allows employees to leave the office early on Fridays, especially when a long weekend is looming with record-breaking temperatures.

 

 


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A Day In The Life at North Vancouver Outdoor School by Mike Shovar

The North Vancouver Outdoor School has been educating the youth of British Columbia from kindergarten to grade 12 since 1969. Located on 165 hectares of designated ecological reserve land in Paradise Valley, Brackendale BC. The property is inhabited by many natural attractions such as salmon runs, eagles, 1000-year-old cedars and the Cheakamus River.  In recent years the school district has begun to realize the potential of the property as a facility to promote eco-tourism, ecological conferences and the development of the property as a venue for private events such as weddings. In 2009 the NVSD in partnership with McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd, developed a master plan for restoring the campus and its facilities.  The first phase of the project was completed in 2012 with the opening of the Environmental Learning Center, sponsored by the North Shore Credit Union and their Legacy Fund with a donation of $1,000,000.

School

I have been given the unique opportunity to work along side the hospitality management company Listel Hospitality Ltd and the school districts project manager Cathy Jenkins. The goals with my internship consist of developing a donor/sponsor database to support fundraising efforts for completion of Phase II construction of new lodging, the development and creation of multiple interactive maps in connection with the vision of the new Cheakamus branding of the outdoor school. Additionally, develop and test a multitude of impact presentations for fundraising purposes. In completion of these tasks I will have the experiences of working with educational and hospitality professional staff, attend manager meetings while building a stronger understanding of the operations and relationships between a management company such as Listel Hospitality and their client, the School District.

The nature of my assigned tasks have given me the independence to schedule my time freely but efficiently, and therefore I feel a more accurate account of my day-to-day activities would be to describe what my day’s could consist of. So get ready for a walk through a few different days as an intern with outdoor school!!!

Before I go to bed the night before I check my schedule to see what I have for the next day it could be anything like:

A meeting with Cathy at Outdoor School:

Takes me on a journey starting at 8am; where I get in my internship mobile appropriately named “The Drift Lord” by David Sawh and Jared Zuege. I leave my house heading north up the beautiful sea-to-sky highway. This journey typically takes 1hour depending on traffic.Drift Lord

Upon arrival in Squamish I tend to stop for a coffee at Canada’s favorite coffee house “Tim Horton’s.” I then drive along Paradise valley road into Outdoor School where the first thing you see is the Farm on the right and the log house on the left. We will usually meet at the picnic tables outside or if the weather is not cooperating we will meet in the beautiful ELC building. The meeting runs for about 2-3 hrs. Topics that are on the agenda are discussions of strategy for fundraising, program promotions, re-branding ideas and other tasks needing completion such as learning and helping to develop the utilization of the new property management system Delphi. The general manager Jason Fullerton has been known to drop in to add his input also to oversee my progress.  After the meeting is complete I get back in the ‘intern mobile’ and head back to Burnaby. The rest of my day consists of having lunch at home or Subway on the way through the city (however there is the time we ate in the ELC with the kids, grilled cheese and soup YUMMM). Once home I begin working on my projects such as the interactive maps, presentations or researching potential donors.

A meeting with the Sales team: I have only attended one of these meeting thus far, however these are going to become more regular as the summer goes on. On these days I drive to one of two different locations 1) the Listel Hotel on Robson in Vancouver or 2) the North Vancouver School District offices in Lonsdale. Both location take about an hour to get to. The meeting starts around 9:30am typically running for 2 hrs. After which I will head back home to continue working on projects. However I have found that I get more work done if I spend my day at the public library with no distractions.

Listel

A day with no meetings:  On a day with no meetings I will either work from home or go to the Burnaby public library. I start my day at 9am and work until 5pm; I start by reviewing notes from meetings, follow up on emails sent to potential donors and continue work on the development of an impact presentation for future sponsorship meetings to happen in July and August. The following link is a sample of the maps that I have been working on http://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=583507&x=-123.152146&y=49.815847&z=2

 

The near future:  As the summer progresses my days will soon change; with the school year coming to an end on June 30th and the ELC being booked with weddings and other private events I have been scheduled to help with the operations of events. I anticipate days that will start early morning to late afternoons in Squamish, helping with anything that needs to be done in order to provide the best customer service possible. It has been suggested that I will have the opportunity to stay on site. In addition we anticipate days that will consist of presenting to corporations such as BC Hydro, TELUS, Oil companies and other potential donors and sponsors. Days with presentations will most likely consist of meeting Cathy in the early morning for practice runs and strategic planning of the meeting to completing the meeting and then debriefing.

Inside building

A unique internship; consisting of a variety of experiences, from attending meetings to completing projects and research, helping with weddings and other functions on site. I am very excited to continue this journey; I am looking forward to making a difference in raising awareness and funds for the continued development of the campus and its programs. Eco-tourism and environmental education are important aspects of the tourism industry in the Squamish and BC area, my hope is that my involvements with NVOS will not only help to make a difference but expand my knowledge and experiences through networking and project completions.

Here are a few more photos of this beautiful property:

CabinsRiver


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A Day in the Life at The Delta Lodge in Kananaskis by Emily MacCannell

“Live each moment as it comes” is a true quote to capture my experience thus far at the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis. Over the past 3 weeks each day has been an eye opening opportunity whether it be learning the Micros POS system or learning how to effectively work in a natural disaster situation. No day appears to be the same; however, each day provides unique challenges as well as opportunities that I encounter daily as a server, at the Fireweed Grill.Diningroom

You can view the menu for the The Fireweed Grill here.

My day starts at 4:30 am when my alarm goes off and I wake up to the sun beginning to peak out over the mountains that surround the resort and my residence. After getting ready for work and dressed for the day I begin the quick stroll from residence to the Fireweed Grill inside the hotel where I am employed as a breakfast server. Today while walking though the quiet path at 5:45 am I was able to view a family of deer passing in the trees alongside the path.

Deer

My workday begins with making coffee, as the coffee is brewing I check the banquet event order forms and any bulletins posted to inform myself if any tours or large reservations will be joining us for breakfast this morning. This morning we have no tour groups joining us for breakfast.

It is now 6:15am and I begin my task list. The first item on the list is to brew coffee and set up coffee filters filled with coffee grinds ready and waiting for when needed.  After completing my first task of the morning I head through the kitchen to grab the proper equipment for my next task, as I proceed through the kitchen I make sure to say hello to all Kitchen staff. After ensuring the coffee is brewed into the thermoses I continue on with my list and mark of the completion of my morning tasks.

  • Fill up cambro with lots of ice and water
  • Set up bussing station – compost bin, garbage bin, and plate cart
  • Set up utensil bins
  • Set up cup racks and set two buckets beside this station
  • Set up two bus bin to collect dirty bowls
  • Set up toaster station
  • Prepare mise-en-place for the day – pour ketchup into a set number of ramekins, place butter balls in ramekins and poor maple syrup into small poor containers
  • Grab juice jugs and fill separate containers with orange juice, grapefruit juice, apple juice and cranberry juice.
  • Poor cream into small ceramic pouring cups and set on all tables

After I have completed all tasks that are listed on the daily chart the restaurant is ready for operation at 7:00am. It is currently 6:50 am allowing me to have a quick glimpse at the chart of who is working each section at the restaurant. I go over to my section and ensure each table is set properly and symmetrical. After this task is complete it is now 7:00am.

Table setting

At 7:00am the guests begin to come in and I greet my first table of guests who chose a table with a beautiful window view of the mountains that surround us. I greet the guests with a smile as well as a coffee canister in one hand and a container of orange juice in my other hand. I return to the table when the four guests have decided on their order. Throughout my shift I continue to greet guests and happily serve them breakfast.

View

Throughout the day while I am not serving guests or cleaning off the tables and resetting the table back to a breakfast setting; I polish cutlery and fold napkins along with ensuring the condiments and juice are filled and ready for guests. After a busy shift of serving guests it is now 11:00 am when I begin my closing check-list which requires me to do the following

  • Fill up the plates
  • Fold linen
  • Polish cutlery
  • Tear down breakfast set-up
  • Set up the bar
  • Remove garbage
  • Remove any dirty utensils or dishes
  • Sweep & mop
  • Check with on duty manager if any other

After my tasks are completed and we made a smooth transition into lunch with all tables now being set with the proper lunch setting, I have completed my shift at work.

At this time I log out of the Micros system and print off my financials for the morning, to view my food sales, after completing the proper paper work I walk towards the front office where I place all receipts I have collected from the day. After saying hello to the employees in the front office I walk back down the hallway passing the gift shop and head back towards The Fireweed Grill.

My day of work is complete and it is now 12:30, after signing out I head towards residence, grabbing lunch to go I quick change for the sunny afternoon ahead and grab my current novel. With my book in hand I head towards a popular staff spot the helicopter pad. This spot is a great place to relax, read, think or just enjoy the sun! Other great places around the Kananskis and Canmore area can be found here.

After reading a chapter in my book my room-mate and a few friends have completed work as well, we pick a trail such as the village rim or any of the other various trails though out the surrounding area that can be found at this site.

After a day of work, and exploring the trails, I lay in bed exhausted thinking how time truly flies when you’re having fun. Working as a server is never boring and my days can be unpredictable. I thoroughly enjoy working as a breakfast server this allows me the opportunity to  be one of the first people in a guest’s day to impact them with a positive gesture that can be just the beginning to a great day in Kananaskis. I look forward to exploring my surrounding environment along with the rest of Alberta, Alberta tourism website.

Mountains


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A day in the life at Shangri-La, Toronto – by Mai Pham

Let’s begin my story with a great video from Ryan Emond


Yes, I am doing my Internship in Toronto, ON – the beautiful vibrant city. As an International student, I first came to Toronto four years ago.  In pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Hotel Management, I decided to move to Victoria, BC for a one-full-year commitment of homework and exams. And now, I am back!

I am definitely a lucky girl. After just one days arriving at the city, I was able to finalize my internship placement with the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto (http://www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/pre-opening/); three days later, I started my first day of work. The hotel is the second property of the luxury Asian hotel chain in Canada and North America. The first Shangri-La hotel locates in Vancouver, BC, where my classmate/ roommate Helen Jia is also doing her internship in Human Resource Department. Located at the center of the financial and entertainment districts, Shangri-La Hotel Toronto occupies the first 17 floors of the high rise 65-storey tower. The hotel is still under final touch until opens its door at the end of August. Although I am not allowed to disclose any information and pictures because they are highly confidential, all I could say is that it would be an amazing hotel.

(http://youtu.be/OOImQxKgT0E)

So far, this is my best experience in the industry as I am in the opening team of a new hotel. How fortunate it is to have this opportunity as I am a fresh and new graduator! I have been working with talented, experience, energetic and kind people. They are all departments’ high level managers who have been transferred from different Shangri-La hotels around the world. I feel welcomed and have received a lot of supports from the team. As a Food and Beverage Intern, I however did not have chance to touch any foods or drinks and working in the hotel’s restaurant. Most of the time, I working in the office and my actual jobs are mixture roles of administration and human resource. Ms. Meaghan Misener, the Food & Beverage Manager is my direct manager. Other F&B members are all Service Managers. We are looking forward to have another 50 members by the end of July.

This is the 4th week in my internship and every day is different, although there are some common themes. Every day, I wake up at 7:05AM; the first thing I do is making coffee- It helps me stay awake throughout the whole day.

It just takes me about 30mins by subway to go to work so I usually leave home around 8AM.

By 8:30AM, I arrived at Shangri-La Hotel. My favorite part of the day is the morning briefing at 9AM when everyone gathers. Since the office is not fully furnished, the meeting is conducted in a less formal way as all the managers standing around the room and our General Manager, Mr. Richard Cooke sits in the middle. The meeting starts with a discussion of our hotel Mission statement and the company’s core value, each department will then report on their project progress.

After that, I come back to my small little desk to work on my own project.

Each week, I am given a project to work on. So far, I have been involved with the compilation of the Food and Beverage Outlet Manual, preparing the Shangri-La Experience PowerPoint Presentation for Orientation and a Welcome Kit for new Employees. I was able to enhance my Microsoft Office skills and utilize my strength in design as I am encouraged for creativity.  As the Human Resource department is extremely busy with all the recruiting process, I am also helping with the references checks. At the same time, I have opportunity to observe all the preparation tasks for the hotel opening. This week, I am in charge of the suppliers and inventories record.  I am looking forward to be involved in many more projects and ready to learn and gain more experience.

Starting from today, we will wear our Shangri-La Toronto Polo shirt to welcome new employees prior till the opening next month.

And here is a picture of me during a tour around the hotel!

Well, that is how a typical working day in life goes at Shangri-La Hotel Toronto. Exciting every day!  About my typical weekend day in life in Toronto?  It would be triple the length! Just Kidding! J On the weekend, have a part time job as a server at my previous workplace for half a day. The rest of the time, I go out with friends, enjoy the beautiful weather and of course, delicious food !

There are so many festivals being held right now. Two week ago, we went to the Pride Parade. (http://www.pridetoronto.com/)

Saying Farwell to Toronto and Canada in two months, I would be missing this beautiful country and all the wonderful people that I met. I wish you all the best in life!

We will meet again, somewhere across the ocean- isn’t it the reason why we all chose this industry!


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A Day in the Life at The Bay Centre – by Daniella Jackson

After completing 9 months of on-campus study at Royal Roads, I began my internship at The Bay Centre as a guest services representative. I must be honest and say that it feels wonderful to be out of the classroom and back in the working world, because aside from the obvious benefits of making money, I’ve been itching to put some of what I learned in-class to practical use.

Today is a beautiful sunny day in Victoria (finally summer is here!) and I’m waking up to my alarm at 8:00 am. After slowly rolling out of bed and heading upstairs to greet the room mates and hit the bathroom, I grab a quick breakfast and walk to the bus stop. Luckily the bus stop isn’t too far away, only about a five minute walk, and I live along the #6 bus route so I have a very convenient 15 to 20 minute ride to work. Then off I march to The Bay Centre at 1150 Douglas Street to get my work day started.

The first thing that I do when I get in is to call security on their cell phone to meet me at the security office so that I can sign in and grab the keys to unlock the guest services desk. One of my favourite parts of my job is the security team, and I always look forward to making that first phone call to see who will be working that day. The security team is made up of seven fantastic men and women, all much younger than you’d expect, who are as brave and helpful as they are funny and kind. Working at the guest services desk requires a lot of contact with both security and maintenance, because aside from our immediate job positions we are all the eyes and ears of the shopping centre. If we have a problem or notice something that seems “not right” it is our job to notify security immediately. In addition, security keeps us safe from any issues that may arise with guests who are intoxicated, unruly, or pose a threat to our safety. The roles of security and guest services are also extremely closely linked during the event of an emergency. At The Bay Centre, an emergency can range from a fire alarm to a bomb threat to a lost child, and when those types of issues surface security and guest services work together to ensure the safety of all of the guests and tenants of the shopping centre. As a result, the security team and guest services are all very close, and our working relationships have quickly become close friendships. But I digress, back to describing my work day!

The guest services desk, and one of the wonderful security guards I work with.

Once I meet security and sign in for the day, I grab two radios and the guest services keys, and head over to the desk.  The desk is alarmed so I unlock it with my password, and head into the back room to change and begin the opening counts. At the desk we sell newspapers, gift certificates, stamps, bus passes and tickets, bottled water, parking passes, and on occasion tickets for events that are going on in or around the shopping centre. So as I open, I start off by counting the inventory and float, and ensure that everything is as it should be. Once it has been recorded I open up the guest services communications binder and check our emails to see how many cruise ships are arriving for the day, and to see if there are any special events or updates that I need to be aware of. Then once 10:00 am arrives I turn on the lights, turn on the phone, put a smile on my face, and prepare to greet guests and answer questions about the shopping centre, the surrounding areas, tourist locations in the city, and anything else (and believe me, we get asked EVERYTHING else) that a guest may want to know.

By 11:00 a.m. a second guest services agent arrives, and at this point we call OPS 4 (maintenance) on the radio and ask them to bring out the Government Street kiosk. The kiosk is a great addition that The Bay Centre has brought in to cater to the tourist and cruise ship traffic in the summertime, and is basically a kiosk that sits on Government Street with a guest services agent manned there as frequently as possible with the purpose of bringing traffic into The Bay Centre by making suggestions of where to eat or shop to tourists (or locals) when they approach us to ask a question about the city. I love this part of my job because we work as brand ambassadors for the centre as well as for the city because the tourists usually assume that we are a concierge service for the city, not just for The Bay Centre.

The Government Street guest services kiosk

And to be totally honest, I love this part of my job because it allows us to sit outside in the sun and fresh air and people-watch. In addition, the kiosk breaks up our day because we operate in 1-hour shifts, so everyone gets at least 2 hours a day at the kiosk and depending on the day, you may be lucky enough to catch some local festivities during the kiosk shift. I was lucky enough to catch the Pride Parade, a professional bike race, and my personal favourite, a procession of about 50 naked bicycle enthusiasts on their annual “Victoria World Naked Bike Ride”. Needless to say, whether I’m at the GS desk or at the kiosk, there is no shortage of things to see; my job is never boring.

The  2012 Pride Parade, just a few feet away from the kiosk!

 

In addition to the kiosk, emergency, tourist and sales-related job responsibilities, the guest services desk is also responsible for accepting and recording all lost and found items, gift wrapping items for guests, addressing the concerns or needs of the tenants in The Bay Centre, and managing “moments of surprise”. Moments of surprise are fun for us and our guests, because we put together gift packages or gift certificates and go out into the centre to offer a gift to an unsuspecting customer. This is a great marketing initiative because it shows the guests that TBC appreciates them and really values their visits.

Something that I have really appreciated through this internship is the knowledge of the city and the local characters within it. Shopping centres are a hilarious place to work because it is open to the public, so we have some truly deliriously funny and strange people coming in, and over time I’ve come to get to know and love some of them. I’ll be honest and say that my time at the desk wouldn’t be the same without those visits from people like Bryan, the bouncy homeless man who spends his change on stamps and envelopes that he stuffs with random garbage and mails to “the emperor of Japan”, among other world leaders. Bryan is well-known around the city, and yes he may have a habit of spitting all over the guest services counter when he speaks, and we may not always know what it is he’s talking about, but until I began working at the desk I had no idea how polite and harmless he really is, and I’ve found that as a result of my internship position I’ve become a much more tolerant person overall. In addition, I’ve been forced through my job to take more time to look around at where I am and pay attention to local landmarks and activities available for tourists. This has made it possible for me to be much more aware of fun things I can do myself in the Victoria area, and has really helped make my summer a memorable one.

The Bay Centre works very closely with Tourism Victoria in their marketing and events campaigns, so we use big city events as a way to attract people to The Bay Centre whenever possible. We hosted live bands during the Jazz Festival, recently held a fashion show for the Pacific Design Academy, and are currently preparing for the live acts that perform in our centre court during The Busker Festival and for the upcoming chalk festival, during which we will feature one of the city’s only 3-D chalk diagrams available to view during the event. This is expected to attract huge crowds to TBC, so we are currently preparing for that and the increase in traffic we will see.

Chris Sartisohn Trio Jazz Festival Performance at The Bay Centre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSrKYtqA8xA&list=UUIfUU-OdPnJFGI7eWMsAWHQ&index=1&feature=plcp

Jonathan Burns Buskers Festival Performance at The Bay Centre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etn9aUcuPEE

Aerial Angels Buskers Festival Performance at The Bay Centre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U55zRFzbinQ

Pacific Design Academy Fashion Show at The Bay Centre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9BjDCguHvQ

Sometimes during the day I’m lucky enough to get a visit from friends and even some RRU alumni or instructors, and I’m happy to say that I’ve had visits from Josh, Ryan, Kristy, Kate, and even Geoff Bird! These visits are another part of what makes my job so much fun, and give me something to look forward to each day.

After a day full of answering questions, organizing events and liaising with security, I end my day by counting the inventory and float, locking up the desk, and contacting security to meet me to sign out and drop off the radios and keys. I don’t usually find myself tired at the end of my day because my work is so different each day and my coworkers are all so much fun and so helpful, so usually I’ll stay downtown and grab a quick drink (or 5) with The Bay Centre crew. Overall I am extremely happy with my internship position, and I hope that everyone enjoys their positions as much as I do! And to anyone living in the Victoria area, please feel free to come by for a visit any time!


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A day in the life at The Shilla Hotel, Seoul – by Illgyu Lee

My name is Illgyu Lee and I am currently enrolled in BA international hotel management program at Royal Roads University located in Victoria, British Columbia. One of my graduation requirements is to successfully complete three months of internship career in any businesses that are related to tourism industry. I have searched high and low for the ideal internship opportunity and I am now playing a role as an internship employee of Sales and Marketing team at The Shilla Hotel, Seoul, Korea. This report will provide brief description of the Shilla Hotel and will explain detailed footsteps of how my day starts and ends.


Hotel Shilla is one of the most influential hotel groups in Korea (http://www.shilla.net/en/seoul/index.jsp). A renowned international corporation, Samsung, currently owns the company. The hotel had its grand opening in 1979 and they now have more than 460 rooms with different classes to satisfy different tastes of the guest. The hotel provides upscale luxurious service with variety of entertainments and amenities including fine dining, duty-free, shopping area, pastry, swimming pool, fitness centre, and many more. My internship period here commenced at 2012.06.12 and will terminate on 2012.09.12.

My job requires me to arrive at work at 9:00 on the dot. However, since I am the newest member of the team and have a title of an internship employee, I am expected to be at my desk around 8:30AM. This is actually not as bad as it sounds since every employee here at the sales and marketing team always come before me and working on something (I assume that most of the employees arrive at work around 7:30AM). In order for me to arrive on time, I need to get out of my bed at 6:00AM since I live far away from my work.

It looks close on the map but it is actually 26 stops and I need to take three different subways. The total travel time of the subway is approximately 1hour and 30minutes. Unlike Canada where you can easily get on and get off from the subway, getting on a subway is another problem (definitely not hard but somewhat uncomfortable) that I have to encounter in the morning. Everyone is using subway to commute to his or her work / school in the morning; therefore, the subway is always jam-packed. I have heard about the infamous Asian subway and I always told myself that I would never be able to get on if I ever face the same situation. I proved myself wrong since it was extremely easy to get on them. People behind me (by the way, huge line-ups) automatically pushed me in to the subway and all I had to do was “go with the flow” (Same logic applies for getting out of the subway).

My cubicle in the officeAs I am still new to the job, my job is very limited. My main duties are to complete minor paper works such as updating numbers using excel and organizing the receipts used by the marketing team. Occasionally, I am expected to deliver some materials used by the marketing team. Above are my main duties for the morning. However, I am expected to do any other works requested by the people here. 12:00PM-1:00PM is lunch. I usually go to the employee cafeteria to have lunch and rest in the office or finish whatever tasks were assigned to me in the morning

I usually pick up mails after lunch and do more delivering if required. My afternoon tasks are much simpler than my morning tasks. However, I am expecting to have more and more work as time goes by. Once I become familiar with the work, my supervisors will assign me with harder tasks that will take more time and effort. I actually do not have a set schedule or a project that I need to work on but I am expected to do things that are requested by the employees here.

My job ends around 6:00PM if nothing important is due that day. However, I am expected to stay additional hour or so if important things need to be taken care of. Again, this is not as bad as it sounds since most of the employees here work until 9:00PM. At one point, I thought they all lived in the office. I normally take the subway back home since it is the fastest method of the transportation. I get home around 8:30PM and usually wash and go to bed right away for the next day.


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A day in the life at Marriott Amman – by Aya Abu-khajil

Attending Royal Roads University was the second step to reach my dream. I must admit that it has opened several doors to establish my future career. Many international hotels in my beautiful homeland ‘Amman’ have contacted me to join their team. Some were through connections and others were attracted by my resume. My destiny led me to join Marriott Amman that rests in the business district ‘Shmeissani”.

My day starts at 7:00 am, where I get out of bed, take a shower, dress up my daily black suit uniform and have our traditional breakfast that consists of bread and dairy products with tea. I usually eat labaneh topped with dried mint leave and drizzled with olive oil. Other options include pita bread with olive oil and za’tar or hummus and falafel.

Around 8:00 am I then get out of my home by my car and sometimes my sister drops me off on her way to her job. It takes me 10 to 20 minutes drive from my place to ‘Shmeissani’ due to the traffic jam every morning. The bad part is that I don’t get the chance to stop by Starbucks or Second Cup in the morning as I used to do in Canada since such good coffee places are far from where I work.

I have to be at my workplace at 8:20 am to get ready for our daily 30 minutes brief meeting in the sales and marketing department. On my way to the office, I get to see employees from other departments and wish them a wonderful day.

Currently, I am working in Jordan Marriott cluster office events booking center. I work from 8:30 am till 5:30 pm, five days a week. My shift starts by taking requests from my colleagues. For each request, I start to review the ceiling in order to check the availability of the rooms and meeting spaces. Later I create a proposal and enter the data on the Opera system. When clients approve the proposal, I create for them a contract to sign and turn the request to definite on the Opera system, as well as reserve the rooms on the Marsha system. Finally, I open a file for each definite booking. Lately I have been doing tour series, which takes me two full days to finish. Sometimes I take group bookings that consist of rooms along with meeting spaces. These requests are a bit harder than a tour series as I have to be very familiar with the size of the venues and the shapes that fit each venue such as protocol style, round tables, U-shape, etc. When the clock turns to 12:00 pm, I go upstairs to have lunch with some of my colleagues. I must say that my day-to-day work is really interesting as I receive a lot of different requests and time flies due to the high pressure. Plus, I am enjoying the work environment and have met great people that make the office an enjoyable place to work in. They add humor, through random jokes and help one another when needed.

Our property is also managing Jordan Valley Marriott located in the Dead Sea and Petra Marriott.  We take group reservations and plan events in the three hotels. It’s a huge amount of work, lots of pressure and fun at the same time.

Once I finish the requests I have, I leave at 5:30 pm. I get back home to get dinner, have a 30 minutes rest, spend another 30 minutes with the family and venture off to see my friends at night.  Basically, I only get an hour rest per day.

That’s my journey during my first weeks at Marriott Amman. I am looking forward to the remaining period of my internship placement and hope to get more familiar with Marriott policies and procedures, as well as prove myself to get hired.


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A day in a life at Ming Eat and Drink Lounge – by Elizaveta Semenova

It is hard to believe that it has been already a month and a half since I left a beautiful Vancouver Island and has been here, in a vibrant city of Calgary.

I still clearly remember June 8, 2012 when I was getting ready for my first shift at the Ming http://www.mingeatdrink.com/ as a new Marketing and Public Relation Specialist. I was terrified. But as time goes by, I became more and more comfortable promoting food and drink specials, dealing with suppliers, and working together with the owner.

Most of my shifts start at 4 pm when a lounge opens. Since I live in downtown Calgary, it is really convenient for me to get to the work, because Ming is located on the busiest avenue in Calgary http://www.uptown17.ca/.  It takes me about 15 minutes to walk, however there are times when I am running a little bit behind so I take a cab, which costs me around $7 CAD.

There are only 10 employees working at Ming including the owner and me, however we are a great team and work together well.  Everyone is very friendly, willing to help, and take extra hours if needed, especially now during the Stampede http://www.calgarystampede.com/.

Even though I find it challenging to keep up with food and beverage industry trends, I try to attend as many industry events as I can to be able to implement any changes/innovation in the daily operations. I as well subscribed to the digital “Food and Drink” magazine, which keeps me updated on upcoming events in the province and current trends in the industry.

My shifts are usually around 10 – 11 hours, which I am still not used to. During the day, I am usually in the office (yes, yes, I have my own office!) however around 9 pm, I am becoming a floor manager to ensure the smooth operation of the lounge. I usually try to communicate with the customers to be aware of the quality of service we provide or suggestions for any areas for improvement.

Being known as a martini lounge, Ming attracts a lot of different customers, this is why one of my responsibilities is to ensure that every customer gets specialized service and experience.  There are a lot of regulars, and I still have a hard time to remember by name. We treat them as VIP customers, and have recently introduced a “Comrad” card, which allows them to get 10% off their bill.

Working together with the owner of the lounge turned to be really interesting and challenging. He takes me with him to business lunches and dinners, introduces me to different restaurant managers and owners, and ensures that I am on the right track and on the same page with him. I have learned a lot just by being around him and talking to the suppliers. People I work with are very knowledgeable and are always willing to explain anything that I might not know.

Even though Ming is a relatively small lounge, there are always things to do. Currently I am working towards new food and drink menu options and new décor for the lounge. Together with a wonderful bartender Kerry, we are trying to create a new martini menu, which will consist of 35 martinis. As far as new food items are concerned, the owner of the Ming and I try to build relationships with other restaurants that will be able to provide us with those items.

Being responsible for marketing and public relations, I try to communicate all the necessary information and all current promotions/events with the rest of the employees at Ming. A weekly meeting is held every Monday between 2:30 and 3:30, where the events of the past week are discussed, where employees have a chance to express their opinion about pretty much anything. These meetings help me to understand what went wrong or right. I appreciate the feedback from the employees, as they do work more closely with the customers. Even though I worked at Ming only for a month, I have already made a lot of friends, and made tons of connections.

Every single shift I try to learn something different. For example, last Friday I had to help the bartender to make drinks and pour beer from the kegs – I found it so fascinating, but at the same time so difficult, because not everyone can remember what goes into 20 different martinis. However, no matter what I do, I try to do the best I can.

 

Even though I love my job and people I work with, I terribly miss Royal Roads University and all of my classmates. It took me a while to stop carrying an umbrella in my purse every time I would leave the house. Calgary is so beautiful right now. It is +30 here, sun is shining, stampede is on, and cowboys are everywhere!

P.S. The only lesson learned after 2 weeks of working in the food and beverage industry – gym is a MUST!