I have always loved competition and I developed my skills based on the personal results I achieved on my way to reaching the goals that I set during my life. When I started my adventure in Les Roches Marbella, I wasn’t sure this would have been a suitable competition for me or if it would help me that much to discover myself. However, after one year, I can now say that it has been a very challenging experience and I have indeed discovered myself along the way.
I have played many sports in my life but I was always most passionate about skiing and golf while competing internationally in both fields. Although I found that hard work and dedication was the key to achieve good results, arriving in first place was never the ultimate finish line for me. Since I was a little child, during summer I was practicing and playing ten hours a day, alone on the golf course, no matter the weather. During the winter, I did the same training and working out on the slopes to get better on skies.Nobody was forcing me. This attitude became a normal day-to-day routine for me. Passion was the only answer to my ‘tour de force’. Passion kept me focused and made me push myself further.
Why do I mention sports? Well, I have found there to be a very thin line between sports and my work in hospitality. Both make me give 100% of my capabilities and push me to reach those goals that would not have been possible if I were not passionate.
I attended my first internship at the Abama Golf & Spa Resort, an extraordinary five-star hotel in the Canary Islands that is part of the Ritz Carlton group. While there, I worked in Guest Relations, Front Desk, Guest Services and in a special VIP area of the Hotel; the prestigious Tagor Villas.
The Hotel is so big that you feel lost at first, like the smallest piece of a giant puzzle. However, as the months passed by, Abama became my home and even when I was with my friends outside during our free time, the main topic to talk about was the Hotel. With some of the hotel’s clients we built a sort of friendship and my colleagues were my family. When the semester was finished, I left amazing memories and people behind.
The commitment and work, however, was not as easy as I thought it would be in the beginning. This was my first real job and for a nineteen years old student, the amount of work and the responsibilities I was given were really high. One rule that I have learned from working in a luxury Hotel is that, since the commitment required to perform the duties must always be at its most, you always know when you start, but you never know when you will finish. The busy periods during high season when the hotel is fully booked is nice because time flies. However, on the other hand, you never stop and you rush all the time. Pressure and stress are high, and adrenaline pumps your heart incredibly fast. It’s the same feeling you get from a ski competition.
I think that this work experience at my age has opened my mind and helped me to better understand the future. I feel lucky to have undertaken this life experience in its bad and good sides. Students in normal universities don’t experience a working opportunity like this so they cannot test the practical part of the job before the working life starts. As a consequence, they are not usually able to set their mind in a way that will help them to be prepared early on to meet the challenges of the world of work that will eventually confront them.
During my internship, I had to change. I had to adapt. I had to learn about responsibilities, teamwork, and attention to details. I had to learn to be professional and presentable at all times (even though Mr. Djeebet and the morning roll call at Les Roches helped me a lot). I had to learn the timing of when to listen and when to speak. I had to learn how to express my respect for my colleagues. I had to learn to have the proper attitude with my managers and especially with clients. It was my responsibility to make an impact on the hotel’s clients and judging from the many dinners I have been invited to, I have to feel happy that I achieved all that was asked of me.
To conclude, as I said, it’s all about passion and you really need to figure out what your passion is all about. An internship can be the best way to discover it. Working in hospitality is not as easy as other jobs. You can’t do it only for money, it’s the smile of the person in front of you who appreciates your job that makes the difference and offers the greatest reward.