“The think I liked best about working at a boutique hotel was the high level of responsibility they gave me. Once I learned the procedure for checking in guests, I was off and running. I got to learn new software as well for managing bookings. The staff really made me feel like I was needed and useful which was nice. Being in a tourist area was fun as well. I went out after work a lot and think the tourist industry is a good fit for me.”
IGS has placed hotel interns in exotic locations like Buenos Aires, Argentina where one of our students managed the front desk of an upscale bed and breakfast. In Hawaii, our student worked with the event planning office and assisted on check-ins. In Costa Rica, our client helped provide orientations at an eco-tourism resort. He likewise did social media marketing and partnered wit local businesses. More than most industries, internships in hotel and resort management can lead to paid positions. Given the high turnover, when a manager spots a capable and hardworking individual it is in their interest to find a way to keep them aboard.
The best placements are the ones wherein the manager allows you to work in several departments. A student may be trained to handle check-ins and front desk duties. However, we encourage both the student and the host to expand out from there. Event planning is an important part of hospitality and we encourage participation at the ground level to plan and execute important functions with the staff.
Most people can put on a happy face for an hour or two when dealing with customers. Hospitality professionals must be on their toes and best behavior all day and every day. An internship at a resort or hotel can show you whether you have the passion and personality for the job before investing too much time or study.
Mobility is one of the key benefits for working in this industry. Once you have an “in” with an international firm you may be able to pick and choose the locations and season you work. Working alongside like-minded people is also a benefit. There is no shortage of places to go and people to meet.