We had the pleasure of interviewing Ms Emelie Sorensen, student of Hotel Institute Montreux, Switzerland who gladly shared with us her internship experience with Sani Resort in Halkidiki, Greece.
Q1: Why did you decide to accept the offer for an internship with Sani Resort in Greece?
For my first internship, I knew I did not want to work in F&B as I already had some experience. Therefore, when I found the Front Office internship with Sani Resort I decided to apply. I had never been to the mainland before and I thought that having experience in a foreign country, rather than staying in Switzerland where I have been living almost my whole life, would be a great experience and opportunity for me to develop.
Q2: How was your internship experience?
My internship took place for 4 months and I was working 6 days a week, usually around 8 hours a day but of course as it is a very fast-paced environment I often was asked to stay longer, which I happily accepted. I would say that I realised how much I learned once I had come home and had to write my internship report. The front office is a very interesting department and I learned to handle check-in and check-outs, as well as payment procedures, complaint handling and had to respect high standards you could expect from a 5* hotel like Sani. Additionally, even if I had had some classes about Opera PMS, I was a little nervous because I had never had the chance to try it out before but my managers and colleagues were really nice and ready to help me at any time or answer any question that I had.
Q3: What do you consider as your key takeaway from this experience?
My key takeaway from my internship is that it is very important in the hospitality industry to be flexible, as you never know what is waiting for you when you start your shift and that no day is like the previous one. Indeed, you might come to work with a clear idea of what you will have to do and what your day will look like, but the chances are very high that it will be nothing like you imagined, which in my opinion is very exciting!
Q4: What is your advise to other students who will be taking an internship for the first time away from their home country?
My first advice would be to not worry too much. Even if it is easier said than done, I know it might seem like a huge challenge and that it might be frightening, but depending on where you will go, there will most probably be other interns that are in the same situation and that you will be able to share your fears, joys and victories with. If not interns, there will for sure be nice colleagues! Another advice I could give is to try to enjoy the experience to the fullest : time flies and before you even know it you will be packing your bags to go back home so remember to also have fun, go out with your colleagues or friends and explore the city/region you are in!