As this is my first internship, I decided to give myself the best opportunity in a 5 star resort & spa hotel to enhance my experience, to develop my professional attitude and to be in a reality world in the workplace. This report is an explanation of my impression during a 6 month internship course in one of the best hotel chain that located in Thailand. To become a professional in hotel industry is not as easy as every students from SHMS thought. Knowledge and experiences are not enough in the real life, but we need our motivation and our passion to survive happily in this worldwide industry.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiangmai
Figure : Mandarin Oriental Logo
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiangmai is one of the best spa and resort hotels in the world, located on 60 landscaped acres in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This resort hotel employs more than 350 employees. Even though this resort has established for only nine years (Since September 2004) but with management experience of the Mandarin Oriental group, it attracts every kinds of guest from a very simple traveler to a member of a royal family and it is a very popular place for Chinese speaking part as well.
The guests come here to experience the aura of Lanna, northern Thailand. Meeting the ultimate atmosphere, high class rooms and to be impressed by a perfect services. This resort is awarded in the ‘World Travel Awards’ website for 11 awards since it has established which is less than ten years. Therefore, this resort hotel is one of the best choices and they can guarantee their quantity of service and facilities for all kinds of guest. The Management Structure The Management Structure of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiangmai
Figure : Organization Chart
Since this resort hotel is located in 60 acres and is remarked as a ‘6 Stars Hotel’ by the guests, therefore the organizational structure has to have a manager of every departments and outlets to organize a perfect service and overview for the guests.
Task and Responsibilities
As a management trainee at a 5 star hotel, I had a responsibility to rotate eight outlets in F&B service department. Which are including breakfast, Chinese restaurant, French restaurant Thai restaurant, Cake shop, two pools and Private Dining (room service). During my first day of internship, I had an orientation with Ms. Narissa (HR assistant) to understand the background of Mandarin Oriental and how this chain manages their employees to become a professional front of the guests.
For my first 10 days, Rene Bennett (Assistant F&B Manager) scheduled me to spend one day per one outlet to learn the organization, service standards, schedule and teamwork as well as to overview the problems of every outlets. After 11 days of rotating, I was schedule to be in ‘Akaligo’ which is an international breakfast for one month. My task was to be a hostess and also service the guests. To remember the faces, names, guest’s arrival, departure and the guest’s favorite been my main task at the breakfast. I was also given a project of creating wine list and to overview the guests need at Akaligo and present the project to Carmen Mauthner, a Director of F&B.
The next project was at the ‘Cake Shop’ for two months and a half. For this time, I had a very big responsibility to develop upper level of the shop which may require for structural change or investment, review back of the house set up/ organization, present the idea to refine service, to create 3 drinks offers for the month of May and to learn cashiering process. After completed my second project, two outdoor swimming pools call ‘Loy Kham Pool’ and ‘Colonial Pool’ were my next target. To create food and beverage promotion and implement the promotion at the pools was discussed with Mr. Nattawat, a Private Dining & Pools’ Assistant. Finally, the last place I proposed to go was ‘Le Grand Lanna’, a Thai Restaurant.
It was far more than challenging, because I had to absorb the professional teamwork service from the staff and manager there. I supposed to refine the service and to understand the guest’s needs from different cultures. Taking orders/reservation, explain the details of Thai food and to accomplish how to be a professional hostess, dealing with tour groups, V.I.P and an unexpected guest were my last objective at this hotel.
During my internship, I also had an opportunity to go support other outlets in the hotel when there was not enough staff or there was some special event in the hotel. For examples, weddings, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Cigar & Whisky Night, GM Cocktail, etc. Schedule and working plan
As a management trainee, I was supposed to be very flexible for every schedule in the hotel. My earliest shift was from 5AM to 4PM, the latest shift was from 3PM to 1AM and I also scheduled for a split shift which was from 11.30AM to 2.30PM then 6PM to 11PM.
This is one of my schedules at “Cake Shop”
Figure : Example of the Schedule
2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi was chosen to organize the place, food and beverages for the 2nd Asia-Pacific Water Summit meeting on the 19th – 20th of May 2013. I was chosen to be one of the staff from Mandarin Oriental to service the prime ministers from 30 countries in ‘Holding Room’ which was a place for having their coffee break.
We were necessary to get ready at 4AM to dress up and get on the bus to C-MICE in Chiangmai and were supposed to stand by from 5AM to 5PM on the day. During the day at Water Summit, there was not various happening as much as we thought, therefore I decided to help another team in one V.I.P. meeting room, we prepared snacks and hot beverages before the first meeting started.
One of the challenges during that long day was to clear everything from the first meeting then prepare for the second meeting in 10 minutes and of course, everything had to be perfect. Even though I was having my biggest pressure of serving a very high level people but that is one of the best opportunities that I think not many students will be experienced for their first internship. I was very proud of myself and of course I will use this experience to develop my future career.
Figure : Second Asia Pacific Water Summit
I was taught to be a professional from SHMS but one thing I did not clearly understand was what does professional actually means. In this resort and spa hotel, the hierarchy is not as important as to work as a team. One picture that inspired me to become a manager who could be in a conversation of the colleges but always in a good way was seeing Mr. Torsten Van Dullemen (General Manager) taking orders from the guests when “Cake Shop” was having a nasty day during the Thai New Year Festival week. Mr. Torsten taught me with a story of dropping balls, he said “We always have a choice for our life, just like choosing a ball to bounce.
For our occupation and stressful, we can choose to bounce it with a rubber ball because we could catch it again after we drop it. For our health and family are likely to be a boules ball, these are the things that you could not bounce because if you drop it only once, nothing will return like how it used to be.”
Figure : Name tag for Water Summit
A way to apply my skills
Experience company culture
Time management skills
Learn to be on my toes
Received guests’ personal email and business cards
Too much work and also not enough work sometimes
Competition with other management interns
I did not have enough knowledge about food and beverages (Wine, cocktails, etc.) Did not use my skills as much as I thought
Limited time during each outlets
First time for almost everything
Cashiering and accounting struggles.
I gain more than experiences and it is more than learning. To work like a professional in a hotel industry is unlikely to be easy or difficult, it is depends on your determination and opportunity. I prefer working more than studying at school. For me, to study at school means to follow the books and theory, but to work and to deal with something real is to learn from reality and to achieve my goal in the hotel industry. Thank you SHMS for giving me the opportunity to acknowledge out of textbooks and thank you Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai once again for encouraging me because now my dream came one step closer.
Facebook. (2013). Dhara Dhevi Chiangmai’s photo. [Online]. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=586504254713453&set=pb.10784595257928
8.-2207520000.1378676084.&type=3&theater. [Accessed 1 September 2013].
Simplyhired. (2013). 8 things you can get out of an internship. [Online]. Available from: http://blog.simplyhired.com/2013/05/8-things-you-can-get-out-of-an-internship.html. [Accessed 1 September 2013].
World Travel Awards. (2013). Latest Nomination. [Online]. Available from: http://www.worldtravelawards.com/profile-1675-mandarin-oriental-dhara-dhevi-chiang-mai. [Accessed 1 September 2013].