- Ms. Nataša Preočanin
InternshipAdvisor: sharing and rating internship experiences.
Updated: Mar 26, 2021
What is the one thing about the Hotel Institute Montreux that connects us all, but makes us different at the same time? Let me give you a hint. Since you started your studies at Hotel Institute Montreux, what was one of the most significant periods that changed you as a person and a professional? Very bad experience that you wish to forget? Move on? Learn from it? Or, an amazing experience you wanted everyone to know about? One of the best experiences of your life? Well, I am pretty sure your experience was similar to at least one of the above. Since I love to ask a lot of questions, let me ask you one more: Would you say it’s your internship experience?
I had a desire to share some of my ideas so, I would like to discuss about these fabulous internships. An amazing opportunity for our career, practical education and, well, nice CV material. But what is it in reality? Usually, a life changing experience, and usually, a bittersweet one. Gen Z seems to be more sensitive when it comes to the first job experience. Thankfully, Hotel Institute Montreux provides us with amazing opportunities when it comes to the internship choice. All these partnerships with incredible hotels and companies, internship office, experienced students and alumni’s, International Recruitment Forum… Yet, some of us still manage to make a mess of our first job experience.
Let’s start from the very beginning, by going back to the very first thoughts about your internship. What was the main parameter in your head? The location? Hotel brand? Friends and family? I will be honest and say that for me, it all started with the location for the internship. I only saw myself on the beach, reading my books and enjoying the beautiful weather.
You are probably wondering why was I thinking like that? And I wonder, aren’t we all Gen Z’s a bit self-indulgent? We all want a nice and fun place, our friends close to us and a new city exciting to discover. I believed that prioritizing location was my trap, but after reading Z Lab blog article “Is Generation Z willing to relocate?” by Ms Ad-cha Tongjaisod I realized that it’s not always a mistake. Deciding to prioritize the location for the internship can bring you wonderful experience, but how can you know?
To get back to my unfortunate story, after becoming more optimistic about my idea I started asking many questions (of course) and got amazing recommendations from a few students who had worked where I wanted to go. Later on, I successfully got the job at the International Recruitment Forum. I still remember how happy and excited I was. Step by step, I ended up in a place where I believed will be the best for my first job experience. Beach, sun, nice weather all year long and relaxed atmosphere… Yeah, Barcelona can sound very appealing to spend five months living and working there. However, it was the worst five months of my life.
I could go hours and hours complaining about how bad my first job experience was, but let’s try to be more mature and skip that part. It took me a few months to get in peace with myself about this bad first job experience. During those few months, in between the complaints, I wondered how I was able to make such mistake and how not to make it again. I realized that how I made my decision was not only based on wrong parameters but more importantly, I didn’t have enough feedback from students who already had their first job experience there. This got me thinking, what I can do to prevent this problem in future and help other students in making the right decision.
I believe the first job experience plays an important role in our career, therefore, it deserves a little extra attention. Keep on reading, it becomes interesting now.
Somewhere between my crazy entrepreneurship ideas, this interesting one started to develop in my mind. Do you want to guess? I will give you hints, you think. Hospitality. Hotels. TripAdvisor. Ratings. Comments. Any ideas? Let me then tell you more about this one of mine.
Imagine having a platform like TripAdvisor but designed suitably for Swiss Education Group students (let’s be generous and share it with our dear colleagues from other universities that belong to the group). We can call it InternshipAdvisor. The InternshipAdvisor would be a platform to help future leaders of hospitality at the very first steps of their career. Hotels and companies would be rated and commented by students who completed their internship there. The access would be available for all Swiss Education Group students and Alumni’s, in order to get more information, as well for the internship office which always gives useful advices. Since Gen Z tends to trust online reviews more, this would be even more reliable as it comes from our peers. Each student would write about their first job experience, either bad or good. Students would comment, like or dislike hotels and companies, rate them and be able to ask other students who had already left a comment. Communication between students would be done by emails, which is way easier because students would be more comfortable with emailing other students whom they don’t know personally.
The InternshipAdvisor will also show who are the other students who did their internship in a hotel or a company you are interested in, instead of going around the university and asking people personally. I just remember my struggle in finding students who did internship in the hotel I wanted, then trying to find them at the Hotel Institute Montreux and finally approaching them and asking many of my questions. Honestly, it was a bit uncomfortable situation.
InternshipAdvisor will not only give future interns an insight about first job experience, but it will also show how different people can have different experiences from the same workplace. Each of us would be able to share our experiences, write about our positions and job requirements they go with, atmosphere at work, difficulties and many more aspects of our first internship. As we usually try to get first job experience in a place different from where we live, it requires moving and adapting to a new environment. Moving to a new city can be challenging in the beginning, but what if someone could tell you a few useful advices from their experience and make it easier for you? I was not lucky enough to have someone helping me in such way, so I had to go through it on my own. It was not easy at all, that’s why I would be the first one to help anyone who asks. On platform such as InternshipAdvisor, this assistance would be available.
I agree that learning from difficulties can be useful, but some are just not worth your time and nerves. In the era of incredible technology where almost everything we need can be found online, platform like this will save students of Swiss Education Group from unnecessary struggles. Any of your concerns about internship could be answered and solved at one place.
This is just one of my ideas, but I believe it can bring many advantages to students of Swiss Education Group. Since I enjoy discussing different ideas, thoughts and theories, I would love to hear some of yours. If you have any additions or critics about InternshipAdvisor and if you believe you can improve it, I would love to hear your opinion. Feel free to contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any ideas of yours that you would like to discuss, I would be happy to hear them. Finally, if you feel motivated to help me bring this platform to life, just hit the send button!
Author: Ms. Nataša Preočanin, Hospitality Bachelor Student at Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM), from Serbia