It’s my second year in the Tourism & Hospitality Management – Event Planning program at Humber College.
As part of the Hospitality program, students must do internships with companies to complete their program successfully.
Before October arrived, I prepared a professional cover letter and a resume that I have been developing throughout my previous school year at Humber.
I also had to buy a formal suit and pants to wear for the interview to impress for success.
During the summer, I had a few internships and different jobs, but I was not certain about the career path I should take.
However, I knew that I was always fond of meeting people and delivering exceptional customer service to clients.
I liked the idea of working at different events while interacting with people to provide services to make their stay enjoyable.
When I was contemplating my internships, I tried to find out about my strengths and passions. With my professors’ and friends’ support, I realised I was interested in learning more about marketing, catering and sales at luxurious hotels in downtown Toronto.
I applied at the Hilton, Trump Hotel, InterContinental Hotel, Starwood Hotel and Resorts and so on.
I had a few interviews at different hotels, but some hotels weren’t the right fit for me.
When I was hesitating with my decisions, time was not waiting for me. I lost some internship opportunities on my way, but I knew that wasn’t the end of the world. After applying for different internships, I finally got a call from the Starwood Hotel and Resorts.
I was lucky to get an interview at one of Starwood’s hotels: Sheraton Gateway Hotel near Toronto Pearson International Airport.
On the day of the interview, I was very nervous but determined to get an internship with Sheraton. I kept telling myself to be confident and be myself. It was nerve-racking to wait for my turn to interview while competing with other students from different colleges.
When my name was called, I walked into the room to meet with the Director of Catering, Albert. I smiled and made myself feel comfortable with the questions he asked me.
As a young emerging leader, I always have big dreams.
During the interview, I talked about my passion for the events and hospitality industries and how my outgoing personality will make a difference to customers who come to stay at the Sheraton Hotel.
After I finished my interview, I sent a thank you letter and added the interviewer on LinkedIn.
Surprisingly, when I was checking my email, I was happy to receive one from Sheraton offering me an internship opportunity.
I am thankful for the opportunities I have gained through Humber College, and I cannot wait until my real adventure begins next semester.
I also have a few tips for international students trying to get their first internship.
- Be comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses.
- Be confident in what you can do to make a difference to the company.
- Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and try something you never thought you could do.
- Find the value in every Canadian work experience and volunteer opportunity.