|Interns get hands-on experience working at resort|
|Tuesday, 21 December 2010 11:55|
While most students look forward to taking a break over the holiday season, seven clever community college students are using the time to advance their chances of getting jobs in the future.
Participating in an internship program at the Veranda Resort during one of the busiest times of the year, these seven students are learning the meaning of hard work, but most importantly they are gaining the experience they will need to have a leg up in the job market.
As part of his scholarship from the Grace Bay Resorts, Darren Hilaire will be spending his vacations over the coming two years gaining valuable work experience in various departments at the companies two hotels.
“This experience has humbled me,” Hilaire told the fp. A top performing student in his class at the Marjorie Basden High School in South Caicos, Hilaire was given a partial scholarship from the government and a helping hand, both financially and through experience, from the Grace Bay Resorts.
“We are hoping to give these students the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the industry,” Dr. Carlton Mills says. “We are grooming them for careers in the industry.”
Mills says there is an ongoing problem in the TCI encouraging students to go into the hospitality industry. “We hope to motivate them to move into a career in the hospitality industry,” he said. It appears the message is being heard by the students.
“Interacting with guests is my calling,” said Hilaire, who along with several other interns said they were not sure they wanted to go into tourism before this experience.
“I am a shy person and I was not sure this was for me,” said Jametha Handfield, who thinks the experience has helped her overcome her shyness and realise that she enjoys interacting with people.
The students, all attending the Turks and Caicos Community College, will spend three weeks at the resort learning several areas of guest services.
“This gives us the hands on training to match with the theory we are learning in school,” said Shanice Swann.
“I learned the meaning of hard work and dedication,” Dekkel Simmons added.
Celianise Brunel appreciates the interaction with the employees who have been giving the students advice for their futures. “This is a stepping stone to getting further,” said Brunel, who says intends to make the most of the experience.
“Hospitality is something I believe everyone should have,” Hilaire added. “This is giving us key qualities to help us for life.”
It is not just the students who are getting something out of working at the resort. The students say they are also hoping to give something back.
“I have been answering many questions from guests about the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Brunel said. “I believe I am able to share something important with them about our history and culture.”
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