Read all about what you can do to make the most out of your experience abroad.
Moving abroad away from your family and friends and starting a new “job” can be overwhelming. However, you have invested in this new adventure and the experience has the potential to be a great stepping stone for your career and your personal development. Regardless of your background, here are some tips to having a successful internship experience!
TIP #1 - Research!
This is the number one tip and probably the most important one of them. Before you decide to travel and live in a location for 12 months of your live, you need to do your due diligence and research about the location and the Host Company you will be working in.
If you are looking for a location with wonderful sites, quiet and with an extensive wine culture, maybe Napa Valley is a great location for you. However, this area might have challenges when it comes to public transportation, so it is important to keep it in mind!
TIP #2 - Read the material provided
We send you things for a reason.
Before your internship, you will have received an offer letter with the description of your training and the benefits included in the offer, and you will probably receive some additional information about the location, activities available, etc.
This information is provided to you for a reason, and it is preferable to have some questions or concerns beforehand that not when you arrive to the location you have a SURPRISE!
TIP #3 – Ask for feedback
You will be working hand to hand with other interns, employees and your supervisors, who have been observing you and might be able to provide you with feedback. Pick their brains! It would surprise you what you can learn from them and how this will help you progress.
Before you do this however, put the humility hat on and be welcoming of any feedback. Remember, you are doing this internship to learn and grow as a professional.
TIP #4 – Be positive before and during high-pressure moments
Maintaining a positive attitude goes a long way.
It is likely that you will face difficult times during this experience; a rude customer, a good friend leaving, a change in management… Although you have no control over this, you do have the power to choose how you look at this event.
In short, interpreting difficult times as threats is generally very bad. Instead, try shifting your thoughts: Instead of seeing a danger situation, see a challenge or an opportunity to learn.
TIP #5 – Find the balance
You are in a new location, surrounded by so many new things to know, visit and enjoy. Take advantage of this opportunity!
Working in the Hospitality Business is not easy! We work long hours, we are the busiest when our friends and family are enjoying their holidays, and we are expected to provide an immaculate service AT ALL TIMES! This is why enjoying the free time is so important.
Finding the Work-Life balance will not only improve your mood, but will also improve your HEALTH, you will be more PRODUCTIVE, and you will be able to ENJOY WORK EVEN MORE!
TIP #6 – Ask how you can help
It would surprise you how many times your supervisor/manager does not give you more responsibilities because they do not know you want them.
Of course, make sure your current responsibilities are covered before offering your assistance, but a simple “How can I help?” can make wonders. You will be showing your supervisor/manager that you are had working and willing to help, you will be creating an opportunity to learn a different task, and if you prove yourself, opportunities will keep coming!
TIP #7 – Know your job
As a hospitality professional, you know that there are many factor that might affect your daily work and the property’s operation, and it is important to keep this in mind.
While your supervisors/managers might want to help you grow, you need to be understanding of the circumstances and show flexibility and adaptability during hard times.
On the other hand, if the business is slow, it might be the perfect opportunity to go back to TIP #6 and learn new things.
TIP #8 – Proof yourself
We all want to grow in our careers as fast as possible, however, before you can be “promoted” you will need to proof yourself.
One boss had the following recommendation: "I think the best candidates for promotion are those who best can gently 'manage up' within their ranks and can find the balance needed to do gold star work while still knowing when to draw the line and say, 'I can do this for you, or I can do that for Mr. Smith, but I cannot get both done today. I feel like [this task] is the priority—would you agree?'"