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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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myrella-velez

         

MYRELLA GARCIA VELEZ
Costa Rican

Hotel and Catering Work Experience Internship in Cape Town, South Africa
         

I have been in Cape Town for a month now and I just can’t believe how wonderful this experience has been. Three months ago, while searching the web for my upcoming Christmas vacation, I came up with the Travellers Worldwide website, and after reading about your projects decided to further inquire about your Hotel Work Placement. Currently I am a “Hotel Administration” student at Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico and have worked for Hilton International and Wyndham Hotels.

After reading about your placement, I was certain that this experience would allow me to demonstrate my full potential for greater advancement, the intellectual ability to grasp the complex issues facing the industry today in an international perspective, and the motivation to learn and work in a multi-cultural environment.

I just couldn’t believe that your placement would be in the best hotel in Cape Town! The Mount Nelson Hotel has provided me with a solid and profound international perspective aimed at strengthening my commitment to excel in service within the Hospitality Industry.

During this month I’ve had the opportunity of analyzing and discussing management issues with top executives which has opened my mind to innovative as well as classical problem solving and analytical frameworks. It has further reinforced my belief that culture has a profound impact on the attitudes, priorities, and behaviour of individuals. I believe that it is vital to interact with people from different cultures in order to understand their values, norms, and priorities. It definitely enhances our ability to serve others and nurtures the only psychological prejudice we should ever have: to think about others and their well being before we think about ourselves.

As an advantage, cultural diversity enriches the workplace. We too often approach others from our own cultural perspective and expect them to be like us. It is offensive and leads to certain narrowed prejudiced views we may hold of other countries. In today’s Hospitality Industry, it is imperative for managers and all employees, to have a cross-cultural awareness and an understanding of ethnic identity that are required to fulfil the many demands placed upon individuals in a multifaceted industry. The world is therefore a fascinating book to be read slowly by travelling to different countries and engaging in first hand interactions with their culture and people.

During this month, I have learned some important lessons that, in my view, are responsible for overall success and I would like to put them into practice in the future. I believe that success in the Hospitality Industry lies in attention to detail, a good listening ability, effective communication, teamwork, and the encouragement of employees to be productive by making them feel that their work is acknowledged and appreciated. They must be able to share alternatives and solutions, which will help them realize that their responsibilities are not a burden but an asset.

If employees feel they are an integral part of the business, they will have the incentive to excel in the performance of their tasks no matter how difficult they may be because they know their work is not indifferent to their superiors. If the employees are happy, the guests as primary recipients of their services will also be happy and satisfied, and they will certainly cherish a comeback.

This experience has provided me with more maturity and empowerment to assess the freedom and responsibility in achieving success. One of my biggest satisfactions, however, has been to motivate others, and doing so with a smile, by acknowledging their work, fostering collaboration and celebrating their accomplishments. I want to inspire others in order to help them carry their dreams through reality.

As I write this letter from my hotel room, I can't believe that already a month has passed. This experience has been so highly rewarding and fulfilling that I have decided I should forever incorporate it into my life. I have met a lot of people, all from different cultures and backgrounds, and without their knowledge, each and every one of them have marked my life forever. They have all, in different ways, taught me that success in service is rooted in your ability to overcome adversity by giving the best you have to others with an open mind that will allow you to understand their needs. Finally, I am extremely grateful to Travellers for all their support! From the first day we met in the airport they have ensured that my stay is a memorable one. I really value and appreciate this a lot! I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and everyone at Travellers Worldwide for having made my dream into a reality!

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entrance-hotel
The Mount Nelson Hotel

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The Mount Nelson Hotel

beach
Cape Town Beach

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The Mount Nelson Hotel