1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a waitress for the hotel restaurant, I had to make sure my appearance was professional and to the hotel's standard. I was required to come in early in the morning to make sure the kitchen was tidy and the tables were set correctly. All cutlery were to be polished and placed in an orderly fashion. We all had our own roles and looked after specific tables. We worked together as a team with the manager in order to make sure we went through the day in an efficient and effective manner. I did my part by making sure I welcomed customers and gave them extra special attention for example, their water was low, if they required napkins, perhaps they want dessert etc. It was an overall great experience to learn about good customer service.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
From this role, I developed my interpersonal skills as well as attention to detail when looking after customers. My focus was not just on the customers on the restaurant floor but I learnt to understand the operations behind the scenes, in the kitchen and higher management. It allowed me to see how a team runs effectively, and how a manager is flexible throughout the day to make sure the team works cooperatively. I learnt that cooperation and communication is exceedingly important as there were times when it was extremely busy, and we had to communicate in order to keep on track of production.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoyed my programme at the hotel as I've always been interested to learn about the operations within a hotel and a restaurant so this was the perfect learning experience for me. I had met a lot of people in the hotel from all walks of life, and it gave me insight into different jobs as well as cultures. A hotel is a place where you have a diverse range of people, not just from the visitors but also the staff. I got more from it than what I had initially expected so I was definitely pleased and glad that I took this opportunity as it gave me a broader insight to the hospitality sector.
4. How valued do you feel by Marriott Hotel?
Marriott Hotel had great processes in place where I was assigned a mentor as well as my team and manager looking out for me. They took the initiative to make sure I knew what I was doing each day and asked if I wanted to do particular jobs that I was interested in. If I had run out of ideas, they would give me suggestions and challenges throughout the day to see what interested me. At the end of my time, the manager gave me feedback which was very helpful as it helped me understand my strengths, my weaknesses and areas in which I excelled in. I had been involved with so many different areas to the kitchen and not just waitering so it was definitely an experience I'm glad I grasped hold of.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme structure was thought out yet flexible. At any point if I felt like I could learn something new, all I had to do was ask and the manager would discuss it with me to understand a bit more about my reasons and we would set a time to go through it and proceed. I was surprised there could be so much flexibility and understanding as I thought one job title meant one role only, whereas the team really worked together and helped each other when roles changed. There wasn't a strict hierarchy so it felt like a team that was more like friends rather than employer and employees which was great.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I thought the support that I received from my manager, my mentor and my peers were great. They really took the initiative and supported me and took interest in me as a person and not just a member of staff. We even went out after work and took the time to get to know more about each other and it helped us bond together more, which made work even funner. The general attitude at work was fun but also, with a common goal. We were all working together to make sure things were done and without any hassle.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager, mentor and team mates were great as they always asked what I thought about a certain task, the procedures that they had, if I had any suggestions for new ways of doing things. It made me feel like I was important and had something to give. It was a very inclusive environment and if I had any spare time on lunch, my team mates would chat with me so I never felt bored. I did have one issue where I didn't quite understand the reasoning for a specific task but my manager just explained it to me in a creative way so I'd get it. I felt silly for not knowing at first, but the answer just eased my mind.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I had no travel costs as I got a lift into work every day but I did get a lunch cooked every day by the chef so that was amazing. There was also free drinks e.g. tea, coffee etc. so it was really good. My daily costs were almost next to nothing so I definitely thought it was fair. This work experience met my costs especially with living so close so the hotel, and with it having close links it was very convenient for me to get to. When we went out for drinks, the manager treated so it was great. It was a treat and doesn't always happen because that wouldn't be fair on him, but there's a treat once in a while which was great for everyone's morale!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are definitely options outside of work, for example you could join in with company events and help out with activities outside like charity work, charity runs and fundraising. There's plenty of opportunities and you can even come up with the ideas yourself and as long as you discuss it with the manager and have it planned out, it can be done. We had the option to go the gym on our lunch break and we could go to the other departments and shadow them for a while to see what they do and understand how everything fits so that was a good opportunity to learn more about the operations of the hotel.
9a. Would you recommend Marriott Hotel to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It had plenty of opportunities and room for growth and to learn about different processes within a hotel and running of a restaurant. The people are great to work with and they're so supportive. I would definitely recommend my friends and family to take the opportunity to work there if not just for some work experience because it's not something you can do every day, working for a huge hotel company that's well known. It opens your eyes and gives you the freedom to express yourself and try out new ideas and learn about others.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Marriott Hotel? *
The only advice I would give to Marriott Hotel is to keep encouraging others to take part in work placements as it was a great experience for me. I thought I knew how hotel management and restaurant management was, but actually being in the hotel and seeing it in front of my eyes really taught me more than it could on paper and theory. It was great to see everything in action and see how managers actually do things on a day to day basis and juggle things so I would go to schools and encourage students to take part in experience days and see if they can share their ideas and exceed their potential.
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