Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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A Day in Life at the InterContinental Hong Kong – Kenneth Chan

Hello World! This is Kenneth Chan blogging all the way from Hong Kong. For my internship, I am working in InterContinental Hong Kong as a F&B Trainee in the Harbourside Restaurant. At Harbourside, guests can choose either a la carte or buffet options. Most of the guest that comes usually chooses the latter option as our buffer is one of the best in town (Also the most expensive for our dinner buffet). Our lunch and dinner buffet is very popular so bookings are  almost always full everyday (Bookings should be made two weeks in advance  for the best sittings). This restaurant is called Harbourside because……..it’s beside the harbour!! Jokes aside, actually InterContinental Hong Kong is located at the edge of the Victoria Harbour which separates Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Harboursidefaces towards the harbour so that’s where it got its name; it has a spectacular view at the harbour and Hong Kong Island.

A view of Harbourside from the hotel lobby above

A View of the harbour from Harbourside

So, let me show you my day in life as a trainee in Harbourside. I’ll will  be using my afternoon shift that starts at 2:00pm and ends at 11:00pm for this blog as it shows lunch and dinner buffet.

Getting to work

One would imagine all the tall buildings and skyscrapers when I mention I live in Hong Kong but it has a fair share of rural places too and that’s where I live. (With my sister and her two dogs, the only reason she is living so far out from the city center) I live pretty far from hotel and usually take me about 1.5 hours to get to work so I would leave my house around 12 in the afternoon. To get to the hotel, I would need to take a bus to the Light Rail station. From there it would take me to the MTR(Mass Transit Railway) station which would take me all the way a station very close to my hotel.

A = My house, B = InterContinental Hong Kong

Roles

Before I go on, I should really talk about some of the positions that I have been trained.

There are five positions that I have been trained in at the restaurant and they are Front Server, Back of House, Hostess, Bartender and Manager.

Front Servers – Take food and drinks orders, serve food and drinks, make drinks (ex: Ice Lemon Tea, Hot Cappuccino), Collect empty plates for buffet guests, clear tables, place table settings

Back of House – Buffet table setup and maintenance during meal periods, Checking stocks, picking up linens

Reception Hostess – Lead guests to assigned tables, replying guest inquiry, answering phone calls

Bartender – bar operation, cocktail mixing, wine cellar control, checking inventory.

Manager – Supervising staffs, checking buffet tables, handling guest comments and complains, prepare the daily F&B log

Afternoon Shift

When I start my work at 2:00pm, the lunch buffet would almost be finish as it ends at 2:30pm so the first thing I do is to check which section of the restaurant I have been assigned to and go to help out at that section. My position at this time is a front server and I would clear empty plates off tables and take and make drink orders. Speed is everything in every Hong Kong job so everyone is in a rush at this time (even the guests) when guests starts to order their complementary drinks that comes with the buffet. Once the guests start to leave, I would start clearing tables and put dinner table settings down for the night buffet bookings.

By 3:30pm, most guests would be gone except the chatty people who can chat for hours and new guest would arrive for our afternoon tea set. Since there is significantly less guest during this time, I would use this time to fill up my section (Cups, plates, utensils and towel) and check to see if the table settings are in the correct order.

Today is a little special because there is a wine tasting class at 4:00pm. This class is provided by InterContinental to give the employees knowledge about the upcoming promotion wines.

A Picture with the wine trainer and my colleagues

Around 5:00pm, it’s lunch/dinner time! The staff canteen “Chopsticks” is very close to the restaurant so it is very convenient for me and my colleagues. Sometimes I might see fellow classmate Vicky Chan and RRU Alumni Sara Ngai eating as well but I only see them mostly during my morning shifts.

Everyone enjoyed their lunch 🙂

My break ends an hour later at 6:00pm which is just before start of the dinner buffet at 6:30. At this time, I will help out the reception hostess and lead guests to their assigned table. Once most guests have arrived, which would be around 7:00, I will go back to my assigned section to help out. As I help emptying plates of guests’ table, I will also need to check up on other servers as well as the buffet table to see if everything is in order. This is part of what being a manager is about and also the role I am training today.

mmmm...lobsters.... Too bad I can't have them

Colorful and tasty, what more can you ask for?

At 8:00pm, most guests attention will be directed towards the outside view as it is the time for the “A Symphony of Lights” which is the World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show. Other notable scenery include various boat tours with some awesome looking sail boats

This boat attracts many cameras including mine

Around 8:00 to 9:00, as people start to settle in and had a few plates of food in their stomach, I will check up on the guests to see if they enjoy their meal and if there are any problems. As 10:00 approaches and the dinner buffet ends, it is time for me to start clearing tables, put down morning table settings and help with closing the buffet.

At 11:00pm, my day is finally over but not everyone else as the restaurant is still open until 12:30pm. I sign out, get changed and make my way home.

A picture taken just before I leave

Going home is a bit faster at night as there are fewer people (although it is still much more than Victoria in day time) so I get would get home around 12:30pm. After the daily hygiene activities, email checking and some internet surfing. I finally get on the bed around 2:00pm and get some much-needed sleep.

Life as an InterContinental Hong Kong Trainee

There are many other trainees at InterContinental Hong Kong from many schools throughout the world with me and Vicky being the representatives from Canada. We have many activities together which includes our monthly meeting, the trainees outing and volunteer activities. Check out some of the pictures below. Alternatively, go read Vicky’s blog for more pictures

Volunteering at Po Leung Kok

A outing with all the trainees and ex-trainees at Shek-O. It was a fun day

There are 5 trainees including myself just training in Harbourside

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A Day in the life of an Intern at COAE by Piercarlo Natera

Intro

I’ve been procrastinating about getting started with this blog as I wasn’t too sure on what to write and how to really start it. Now that there is less than a week left I have no choice but to start and what better day than today. I had a really great day as I went White Water Rafting on the Elaho River courtesy of the company I am doing my internship for, Canadian Outback Adventures & Events (COAE). I will tell you more about the company further down the post but first let me tell you what an amazing day it was! The rafting as well as the people I went with was phenomenal! So thank you COAE and the super awesome rafting crew. It’s already my third time rafting this summer and every time I go I have a ball!!!

Unlike almost everyone in the class who went abroad I decided to stay in BC, which I consider home now, because I just love it here; even more now that I live on the North Shore. I love my backyard and I just can’t get enough of it. There is so much to do and it’s just beautiful.

BC hasn’t always been home for me. I am originally from Cancun, Mexico. My dad is Mexican, my mom is Canadian, French-Canadian, and I was born in the U.S. So I am basically a mutt! A good friend of mine I met when I lived in Pemberton called me The Quebexican. Although I consider myself a mutt I feel very lucky and fortunate of having a multicultural background. It has created tons of opportunities for me as well as made my life way easier. I can work across North America with no problem as well as I speak three languages. I am sure you can guess which ones. Anyways, enough about me and more about the company I am doing my internship for, and most importantly, what A day in the life of an Intern at COAE looks like.

Who is COAE?

COAE provides corporate team building events, group activities, and training and educational programs as well as is an adventure tourism outfitter. The company was founded back in 1992 and its mission statement is Live Stories Worth Telling. Our team building events are based on popular t.v. shows such as Amazing Race, Survivor, Iron Chef, Cake Boss and the list goes on. To see the full list of team building events go to www.canadianoutback.com. It is a very exciting time for the company as the American Outback Adventures & Events (AOAE) division has just expanded their operations to the North East U.S. area as well as COAE also open a new division called British Outback Adventures & Events (BOAE). Furthermore, there are some interesting projects on the way but I can’t talk about them as of the moment.

A day in the life of an intern…

It’s hard to describe exactly one day because everyday has been different for me so far; at least almost every day.

I had never worked for an event company so this was my first time venturing into the world of events. Most of my internship consisted of being out on events and assisting in any way or form. Normally I meet the event coordinator at the head office in North Vancouver, which can range anywhere from 5 am to 10 am, and from there we load up the van with all the equipment we prepped on the days prior to the event. We then head to the event’s location and meet up with the rest of the staff unless it’s a travel day, which we then all meet at the head office. Once we arrive at the location we do a staff briefing. After the staff briefing we start setting up the course for the event. This can vary depending on the event but it usually takes about half an hour to an hour and a half. From there everyone breaks off and goes to their designated stations. Most events run for about 3 hours in total. Once the event is finished we take down the stations, pick up whatever trash is left behind by the participants and load up the van so we can head back to the head office. By the time we get back to the head office it has already been a long day. All that is left to do is unpack the van and put everything away. That is what a day out on an event looks like.

When there are no events a typical day would look something like this

• Get in to the office between 8:30 and 9:00 am.

• Check my emails and respond to any important emails.

• Help Event Coordinators with logistics and prepping for any upcoming events.

• Prepare budgets

• Contacting suppliers

• Printing course material

• Going out and buying supplies for upcoming events

• Go on site visits to get familiarized with event locations

• Translate documents from English to French as well as contact suppliers in Montreal

Describing my internship in one day really makes it no justice. I have put together a little video showcasing events I was on this summer, which is more an accurate representation of what being an intern at COAE.

I hope you enjoyed this video. I’ve had tons of fun during my internship and I’m very satisfied with my decision. In fact I’m so happy with the company that I will be working with them once I finish. Lately I’ve been training for my new role in sales. I will be joining the sales team as a sales representative. I look forward to what the future has to bring and I wish all my fellow classmates success.

Hasta pronto!!!

Piercarlo Natera


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A Day in the Life of a Shangri-La HK Intern – Derek To

Greetings from Hong Kong, KOWLOON SHANGRI-LA.
My name is Derek To and I am currently interning at the Kowloon Shangri-La as a Sales & Marketing trainee. I was born in HK, and grew up in Vancouver. A not-too-familiar culture adds to my learning experience. My Professional Profile is built up with working experiences ranging from three to five star properties. I’ve been exposed to front and back of the house in various departments ranging from Front Office, F&B, Housekeeping, and now Sales & Marketing. I breathe in this breath of fresh air, to learn, adapt, and retain all opportunities I come across in the future, particularly my passion for F&B management.

PEARL OF ASIA

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant city that needs not sleep nor rest.

Over looking the Harborview

Its nightlife speaks of another tale, check out the Symphony of Lights. The usual guest comment that I get in the hotel is, “It’s so different here, everything goes at such a rapid pace!” I nod and smile, only because it’s true. During the day, the streets are filled with children rushing to school; employees rushing to work; moms rushing to the grocery market, maids rushing to complete their ten thousand chores.

Despite the rush, this cosmopolitan hotspot is renowned for its spur of tourism and international tradeshows. If I were to describe Hong Kong using a traffic sign, I would choose the yield sign. People in Hong Kong are like hamsters on a treadmill, they just keep going and going. The traditional brakes have long been deteriorated by the intervention of efficiency. Slow is a sign of incompetent and weakness, so there is no such thing as a period or a 4-way stop.

People in Hong Kong are disciplined long-distance runners because they energize themselves with food, work, and stress. That usually gives them the direction needed to accelerate and survive. However, Hong Kong has a lot of roundabouts. Therefore, yield is not a sign of respect but the way to survive. Brace yourself to any oncoming traffic because you can never be too sure. Go when it’s safe enough, because it never is safe enough (if you know what I mean).

Many have asked me, “Why have you come back to Hong Kong, Derek?” The tale that I tell also acts as a reminder to help reassure my decision to come and develop my career path. The opportunities to develop my professional portfolio are more promising and exciting here in Asia. Despite the pollution, overpopulated density, major hygiene issues, and long and stressful working hours, I’ve decided to board the train of opportunities, taking with me the moral essentials that I’ve picked up back home in Vancouver.

hospitality from the heart

Kowloon Shangri-La

My internship with Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel has been an amazing learning opportunity. A family professional environment gives me full potential to exercise with passion, my own personal values and ethics in a relatable authentic themed setting. I yearn to grow in an Asian culture that integrates the passion of tradition with the international brand of knowledge, talent, and experience.

A Must-Watch Sentimental Ad: Shangri-La Culture

Our values, Shangri-La & me The flavor of service is engulfed in rich Asian culture; immersed with grace and sincerity. The tranquility of peace and comfort arouses with selfish desires to come back for more. Together we are trendsetters, driven through innovative achievements and committed to lead as Asian World Class Leaders.

Routine Schedule

The minute hand strikes at 7:30, a crisp whisper of hot and humid air breathes over my shoulder, swiftly awaken. The dawn of another day unwinds to unleash a new day of challenges and opportunities.

Snake-Line up

I hustle onto the bus, hop on the metro train, bypassing street traffic. Yet to find myself fighting against another set of traffic – people (lots and lots of it). In any case, foot traffic is much simpler and more predictable than street traffic. A brisk pace to work beats a cup of caffeine or a bud of cigarette each morning. I arrive to work and approach my cubicle, 2 floors below ground level; there, I begin my day as a Sales & Marketing Trainee. Duties that I do include price comparison on all types of events and functions across competitive market segments. I review all types of menus and pricing strategies, and also perform data analysis, re-summarization, and competitive pricing through extensive research and consultations. I’ve been appointed to assist in the organization of future Graduation and Christmas packages to plan and budget for next year’s selection of menu items, package offers, and cost. Organization and preparation is key.

As an Events Management trainee before, and now a Convention Sales trainee, I’ve experienced a new set of challenges, dealing with MICE, groups with 50 rooms and above, handling inquiries, initiating site inspections, drawing floor plans for different types of events, recording dmc systems, and issuing proposals and contracts. Systems that I got to familiarize with included Opera, Delphi, StarCite, CVent, and Meeting Broker. Unlike operations, S&M is about being one step ahead of operations. Everything is built up on organizing and preparing for the function itself – the finale. It is such an eye-opener opportunity to have witnessed the different roles each department played and how one’s output leads to the next. Together, we are a 5-Star culture performing with modesty and integrity.

A Tourist Myself

MACAU

Early June I had the chance to experience the metropolis of the Asian Las Vegas, Macau, a ferry ride away from Hong Kong.

Macau VS Vegas

Having been to NV Las Vegas on several occasions, I was able to make observations and comparisons. During my visit, I differentiated a subculture that speaks of social instability wrapped in gold. Despite the grand scale of luxury and world class hotels and resorts, I noticed local community suffered from insufficient resources and education. Social poverty and the lack of guidance to train the right ‘fit’ of personnel emphatically offset the trend to expand on local tourism. Macau chases to alleviate its tourism brand image to build world class reputation and international recognition. Nevertheless, booming of tourism will only further lag local communal development. The structural exterior display of the city expresses international appeal; however, the internal shortage of soft skills and the inadequate level of service and etiquette inevitably burden potential expansion. Together, they define an overall discrepancy; thus hindering full potential growth of entertainment tourism in the Asian Las Vegas.

MJ

On the brighter side of things, I was delighted to witness the new and exquisite Galaxy Macau group, of which it consists of Galaxy Hotel, Banyan Tree Hotel, and Okura Macau Hotel. Others hotel I’ve also visited include MGM, Wynn, Venetian, and Mandarin Oriental. I was fortunate enough to stay at Ponte 16 Sofitel Hotel and had the thrill to explore the museum of Michael Jackson and be reminded about world class luxury.

Buffet @ Venetian Hotel

Lunch buffet at the Venetian Hotel Macau. Also holding the 7th International HOTEL EXPO this November!

Durian Ice-cream

My all time favorite fruit in a mouth-watering form, durian ice cream. Local cuisines that represent Macau include Portuguese tarts, crab congee, pork/beef jerky, almond biscuits, and durian ice cream.

*More pictures of the new Galaxy Hotel groups are available on my facebook.

CHUENG CHAU ISLAND

Early August, I paid a trip to one of the small islands located south of Hong Kong, Cheung Chau Island for a one day trip. There I got to see and experience a smaller remote island that was filled with local culture and exotic seafood! The dumbbell-shaped looking island was another hot spot for tourism. Narrow streets, dried herbs, and people, lots and lots of people were the first things that came to sight. With a taste of a different culture, I visited a few monuments and temples that were presented as landmarks of the island.

Under the blazing sun

Biking around the island made it possible for me to expand my horizons to see and explore the beaches, the winding roads, the rock carvings, and the Cheung Bo Tsai Cave (Pirates of the Caribbean).

Fisheries

Fisheries was the dominant agricultural industry; their main source of tourism and revenue. They are renown for their fresh and wide selection of seafood. Definitely a mouth-watering local experience.

*More pictures of Cheung Chau cuisine (SEAFOOD Fiesta!) are available on my facebook.

**I have stumbled upon a lot of hardships in just a short period of time, both personal and professional. I know the day that I look back, the mountain I was climbing on, was just a grain of sand after all. At the end of the day, a balcony view like this, I restore myself with an open-mind; looking far towards a future of opportunities soothes all obstacles. “It’s worth it” At peace and content; my mind. Embracing what life has to offer, I sit down and begin to write a new chapter…the adventure of a hotelier.

Balcony View

Upcoming Tradeshows and exhibitions:

(*My favorites)

*Food Expo

Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair

Computer & Communications Festival

*German Bier Fest

*Wine & Dine Festival

Restaurant and Bar Convention

 

HONG KONG Tourism Hot Spots

Dim Sum

Tsing Ma Bridge

The Peak

HK Board of Tourism

Ocean Park

HK Themed Streets

HK Airport

Lan Kwai Fong


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A Look into the LIC

Last week staff and faculty had the opportunity to take a sneak peak into the new LIC (Learning and Innovation Centre). Having watched this building go up over the past 18 months, everyone was eager to see what was inside! We were very impressed indeed! The building boasts 62,227 square feet, four floors, seven large classrooms, 33 breakout rooms, two computer labs (one Mac!), a business centre, a multi-media lecture room, a virtual conference room, many wonderful study/lounge areas, a snack bar, and several recycling stations, among other amenites. The finishings are beautiful with lots of wood, glass and slate and each space is flooded with natural light. The first day of classes in this shiny new building is scheduled for May 7th. We are looking forward to enjoying this new space with the RRU community….for now we share with you the photos!

First look at the atrium

View from the atrium

New classroom

Shiny new lecturns!

One of the swanky recycling stations

Lounge area

Looking down from the third floor

Design of square window frames in line with Hatley Castle


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More Day in the Life intern posts…

These posts are in pdf form as they were creatively formatted! Click on the links below for a great insight into what our interns are doing this summer! This Day in the Life is an assignment required as part of the Internship program in order for them to share their experiences while in the field. Read on to hear their stories!

From Graeme Sprange who is working at a ski resort in Australia–yes, there is snow in Australia!

A Day in My Life at The Stables in Perisher NSW Australia

From Hilary Walton, who is in the English countryside in beautiful Nottingham England:

Hilary Walton Dayinthelifeblog

From Amanda Verge, who is working in the heart of downtown Calgary at a chic new hotel:

Andie Verge Day in the Life

Enjoy!

-Mags Doyle, Internship and Industry Relations Coordinator


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Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management Cohort 2009

The Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management have left the building.

The interns of Royal Roads are now heading far and wide to take what they have learned this year and apply it at their respective internships. Some are in Victoria, Vancouver, Lake Louise, while others are further afield in the UK, Rwanda, Australia and China.

It has been an amazing year with this class, who jumped at creative ways to network with industry including making a film called The Intern Is Your Secret Weapon, establishing blogs, professional LinkedIn profiles, and actively networking on Twitter.

Vanya, as 'problem guest' and Graeme, as Intern 007

Across the board, instructors were impressed with the depth of their interest in sustainable tourism, world issues, and digital communications. Not without a sense of humour, they also did lots of their own fun events and I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of that through Graeme Sprange’s now infamous Flickr channel.

In our fourth year of this program, these students have taken it to a new level and I can’t wait to see what exciting stories they will bring to us from their amazing internships around the globe.

The Bachelor of International Hotel Management students say goodbye at the Fairmont Empress! (photo courtesy of Graeme Sprange)