This year we’re giving a voice to some of the most influential people on campus: our Les Roches Student Ambassadors. First up is Jo Desai, who tells the inside story of her internship at a 5* luxury hotel in her native India.
My 5* internship experience
As Aristotle said, “What we have to learn to do we learn by doing.” Personally, I believe an internship gives every student the opportunity to do just that. Doing two internships is a must for the undergraduate program.
I had the wonderful chance of doing both my internships in two very different and dynamic departments – kitchen and sales respectively – in two different continents.
At Les Roches Bluche we have a very helpful Career Department (called CDIP) with staff who help students to secure their internships. Each member of CDIP handles a particular geographical location and they assist students with everything from preparing CVs and cover letters to training them with mock interviews, as well as with visa regulations and booking appointments.
From the beginning of the semester I was clear in my mind that I wished for my second internship to be in the sales department, but as far as location was concerned, I was open to working in any country. Finally, I secured two internship offers: one from Belmond in Portugal and the other from JW Marriott, India (my home country). After a lot of deliberation with various stakeholders, I decided to go back to India for my six month internship.
Working for Marriott as a sales intern
is one of the city’s most luxurious hotels and I was given the opportunity to work in the Sales department. The team is comprised of 16 people and they were very warm and welcoming. From the very first day I was made to feel a part of the team and, in the beginning, they gave me some general training about the hotel and its facilities. This equipped me with the basic information that I would need when I started to meet our guests.
As my internship progressed, I was taught a lot by each and every member of the team. They believed I was qualified enough to meet with guests on my own and take event queries. It gave me a sense of responsibility and empowered me to grow in terms of responsibilities. I was fortunate enough to do some lateral service in the Guest Relations Department for a very brief period of time, where I met some amazing people and learned how guests’ needs are taken care of. I also had a chance to interact with some amazing interns in other departments, who came from different colleges, cities and countries.
My overall internship experience taught me a lot, not just professionally but also personally. As my ex-manager said, ”Jo, you are so qualified in terms of skill-sets and technical knowledge that you can take a permanent job right away.” I miss the Sales team a lot and I am still in regular touch with them. They wish to offer me a permanent position in the department!
After doing two internships, one in the kitchen and the other in sales, I came to realize that building my career in the sales area is what I really want to do. Ultimately, I want to start a business of my own.
I believe that when exploring your options and opportunities for your internship, it is always good to keep your mind open to all the possibilities and only go with what your heart and gut says; then the rest will all fall into place. It is very important that to take the help of the CDIP team at every step of the way. These internships build a pathway for your future career opportunities in terms of prospective jobs and network.