To the Middle…
Hey, you’re back! Now you’re wondering how my intern went at the Sheraton Centre, right? Here you go..
First day, I was taken to my own desk, set up like the other employees. Had a computer, a phone, and other stuff to help me throughout my four month stay as the assistant to the event coordinators in the Meeting and Events Department. Right away I was given a Starwood email address and access to other software in the Sheraton Centre system. As a student and being able to have the wide range of software access I had was something I really appreciated. I felt like I was part of the staff considering they invited me to all their staff meetings. The hotels GM prided himself on connecting with his staff every chance he could get. He did the same with the interns that were there for the semester. The GM, held a welcome luncheon with all the interns. Yes, I met the general manager of the Sheraton Centre, pretty cool. It was an intimate gathering; he introduced himself, Arjun, to each one of us individually and got to know our lives outside of schooling. I personally got to know him a little more as my office was on the sales floor, also known as the management level, which is where all the other heads of the hotels offices were at.
After the first seven weeks, I was given the chance to do a lot more. I was able to spend some time in the Housekeeping Department a couple times a week. The hotel runs a program called “Sheraton Shines”. The staff is asked to take a hour or two out of their day a few times a week to inspect bedrooms already cleaned by the housekeeping staff. This ensures that housekeeping is doing their job and those outside of housekeeping understand what the standards are for the bedrooms. I`d go to the housekeeping office, they would assign me 5 to 15 vacant rooms with a check list and a master swipe card key. Yeeeeeah I had a access to ALL the bedrooms in the hotel, felt important 🙂 I was able to do these Sheraton Shines without supervision so that was a great experience. Being able to speak with the housekeepers was a great opportunity to get some inside on the job as well. One day I actually got to assist them with stripping beds, it was Caribana weekend, one of their busiest times of the year. A housekeeper tipped me too, FROM HER OWN TIP COLLECTION, God bless her.
Once a week, I was also given the chance to spend time in the Banquets Department. This was a great experience for me because working in the Meeting and Events Department; I get to see what goes on at the other end of things since both departments go hand in hand. In Meeting and Events I see the paper work for events; in Banquets I see those events in actions. I was actually shadowing a former student of Centennial that I had classes with. Being in that department, I was able to meet and speak with the servers and even see some of the chefs.
In addition to being in the Banquet and Housekeeping Department, I was also allowed to spend a day in the Reservations Department. While where, I was shown the ins and outs on how bookings are done. I also learned some fun facts, celebrities that book into the hotel, often book under an alias to protect them from crazed fans or any harm. Their manager or assistant would then call in to disclose who it is and it would be noted separately.
Over all, I had an amazing time during my placement at the Sheraton Centre. I was treated like I was a part of the staff rather than a student completing an internship. The GM Arjun held a Good-Bye breakfast for the intern at the hotel restaurant. What he wanted to get out of the breakfast was to make sure each one of us got what we wanted out of the internship. He wanted to be aware of how the interns are taking in the experience and if he needs to do anything on his part to make the internship successful. That really showed me how much he cared about the hotel and those who work in it.
Although I wasn’t hired after my internship was over, mainly because there were no jobs available at the time, I loved every moment being there. I also get references 😀
…keep Cruising with Cocoa 🙂
ps, Not saying everyone should go to a post-secondary learning institution but like, it helps. Don’t completely rule it out, keep your options open 🙂