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Ana Maria, a current student at Hotel Institute Montreux, shares how her internship at an inn in the United States made her education come alive and prepared her for future success.
I learned about the internship program at Swiss Education Group’s International Recruitment Forum in 2020. There, I interviewed with Yummy Jobs – an international recruitment company that specializes in seasonal work and internships in the United States. After several more interviews, I was offered an intern position in the Food & Beverage Department at Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island. I happily accepted, and began my visa application process with the help of Yummy Jobs.
My internship was my first real professional work experience and I was exposed to many different aspects of hospitality. I learned so much from the team I worked with at Weekapaug Inn. They were always striving for excellence, worked hard, and really valued teamwork.
Because to do your work well, you must be passionate about it.
Actually putting my studies into practice also made me realize just how important it is to love what you do – because to do your work well, you must be passionate about it. I saw this passion in my team who came to work every day excited about what they do.
I learned that each new day is an opportunity to do better than the day before, and how important it is to always keep learning.
Each new day is an opportunity to do better than the day before.
Working in the hospitality industry can be very tiring, demanding, and requires a lot of sacrifice. So, on the hard days, I learned the importance of not losing sight of why I entered this industry in the first place.
Learning about the work in the classroom is completely different to doing it yourself. Getting my hands dirty each day helped me understand the challenges and demands I’d experience on the job and what employers look for in a professional.
Interacting with my managers on a daily basis also helped me understand how important communication and teamwork are to ensuring success in a business as well as what it takes to be a strong leader.
For the first time, I was completely in charge of my own finances. I was determined to manage my money wisely, so I learned how to develop a budget and find a balance between my living costs and desires to save and have fun. More independence also taught me the importance of self-discipline.
More independence also taught me the importance of self-discipline.
My roommates were very special, too. We all came from different corners of the world, but got along very well. We quickly formed a little family as we were all living and working away from home.
My internship took place in Westerly, Rhode Island, but I was able to take advantage of my time off and travel around the region to places like Block Island and Martha's Vineyard, Newport, Providence, New York City, Boston, and even Niagara Falls!
I would say, absolutely, go for it! Saying yes to this opportunity was one of the best decisions I ever made. For me, it was an opportunity to completely step out of my comfort zone, learn and live in a totally different culture, and rediscover myself as a person who is truly passionate about hospitality.
Give your best every day and work as hard as you can.
Give your best every day and work as hard as you can, as it brings tremendous satisfaction. Learn from everyone around you and don’t be afraid to speak up. Also, be open to the culture you are immersed in. One of my favorite parts about my internship was sharing my culture with my American friends and learning their culture firsthand.
My time at Weekapaug Inn made me love and respect the hospitality industry so much more and reassured me that this is the path I want to continue on.
So, make the most of every day . . . and take lots of pictures!