Having a vast knowledge, adequate skill and good attitude are the main points that Ronald Poon, the Director of Learning of Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, stated during his presentation to the internship students in his department. He praised the 7 interns who are also students of UPH Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism who were doing an internship for 6 months.
For Celia, one of the intern students, this experience is giving her a lot of lessons including speed, efficiency, and learning how to pay attention to details. As a hospitality student, she has the commitment to learn to the fullest even when she has to face a number of challenges in a foreign country. One of the challenges she faced was learning Cantonese, a language that is used frequently in Hong Kong. She admitted that she was able to overcome this challenge with her fluent English skill, vast knowledge, and good attitude, which gives her the ability to provide the best service. Celia’s performance, as well as her six friends’ were praised by the supervisor and manager of the hotel where they work as interns.
“We are really happy to have the intern students from UPH, they have a vast knowledge, good skill and attitude, and they were also able to represent a good image for Ritz Carlton Hong Kong. This country is known as a ‘harsh’ and fast paced country, but by doing an internship in this country, specifically in the Ritz Carlton hotel, they will experience a new challenge, and surely, it will shape them to become competent hoteliers,” said Ronald.
This internship program is a mandatory six-months program for students who are entering their third year, or sixth semester in the Hospitality Management major in UPH. The purpose of this training is to develop the things they have gotten when they were studying in class, as well as to implement the knowledge and skill they have acquired in college to real life, according to their field of learning.
For Sandra Maleachi, S.Pd.M.A, a lecturer in the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism UPH, this mandatory program is included as a course which has to be taken by students in order for them to experience Community Service Program. Through this internship program, students are forged and trained personally, and as a team, because they will have to work with staffs from other departments, such as the chef, marketing, front office, and sometimes, even the nurse. Therefore, students have to be well-prepared for each competence that they will need in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Most of the times, internship students from UPH Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism obtained an award in their internship place. These awards are usually presented by a number of hotel that partners with UPH as Best Trainee Award, which were given to the internship students. This predicate becomes a great achievement for the students, because they have to compete with hundreds of other trainees, who come from numerous well-known hospitality and tourism educational institutions in Indonesia as well other countries, as well.
Following are a number of testimonies from the internship students who claimed that they have gotten so many valuable lessons and benefits from this program, which occurred for six months, from July to December 2018:
“Discipline, pro-active, and most importantly, we can’t be shy to ask anything to those who are more experienced. This applies to any industry, we have to be pro-active, ask about anything! Moreover, we have to be eager to learn and be curious, show interest in the things that we are doing.”– Marcella and Albert Then, Sofitel Jakarta.
“Internship turns out to be a lot more tiring and complex compared to studying, because the industry means real work. So, if we have chosen a certain field, we have to have the commitment to deepen our knowledge and pursue it.” – Maximillianus, Holiday Inn Resort, Bandung
“We have to work fast, have initiative, and if we don’t want to ask, we won’t learn a lot of things, because everyone has their own work to do.” – Violine, Pullman Jakarta
“During the internship process, we are not only assessed based on our skills, but also our attitude. We really have to become professional, because we are facing the real world in the industry.” – Jasper, Ritz Carlton Jakarta
The Tittle of ‘Best Trainee’ and the appreciation was an honor, but the most valuable lesson is the life lesson that will be very useful for them to work in the industry after they graduated. This can’t be separated from the role of UPH in keeping a good relationship with partnering international standard hotels.