Just a few days before the offical announcement of hotels where each student would be going, my “internshipmate” and I were invited to our School Director’s office, as she had a question for us: would we feel that doing the 1st part of our internship in the kitchens before continuing in the restaruant, was an opportunity or an obstacle for us?
This was indeed a good question, as though we had some experience in kitchen crew jobs during our practical application weeks in the Vatel Restaurants, this line of work was not what we were training for. We were training to manage them.
Beginning of May, already time to leave for 4 months in the La Reserve Ramatuelle Palace. We decided to take a car so that we’d be able to be out and about once we were there.
So my weeks in the kitchens and first responsibilities started: I had to manage breakfast orders both for the restaurant and for room service. Being all alone at 6:00 a.m. in the kitchens of a Palace is a feeling that just can’t be matched. This was a tough job but one where I learned a lot, because at the same time, I had to set up tables for the evening and the 11:00 meal for the staff.
When I worked in the restaurant just a few weeks later, I was completely aware of all the difficulties that my colleagues in the kitchens had to overcome.
I really enjoyed being the mediator between the kitchen crew and restaurant guests, whom I was able to advise and help choose.
I also better understood the relationship with guests in the restaurant, which was different from that in room service. The proximity is not at all the same.
With this hands-on experience in the profession, I became aware that what I learned in Vatel’s practical application courses gave me all the basics to succeed in this internship. It would be up to me later on to transform this into managerial know-how through strict involvement in each of these tasks and daily interaction with people in these teams.
There was a strong bond with all the hotel employees, and my internshipmate and I even came back to the hotel for its gala dinner before it closed down for the winter. It was really moving.
I only have positive memories of this first experience which makes me, more than ever, want to work in hospitality. I can’t wait to apply all these new technics that I learned during these four months, and especially to convey all of this to the first year students I’ll be managing.
Challenge N° 2
Acting on the advice from the F&B Manager in La Reserve, I’m going to try to do my international 2nd year internship in the Mandarin Oriental group, in London. He highly recommended this very demanding hotel.
Even though I’m really attracted by Asia, I want to go to England to take advantage of the very best conditions to improve my English.
I’m going to have a talk with my School Director, who, just like in my first year internship, will be able to guide me according to my profile, my expectations and my own professional projects. Antoine Mouktar, a Vatel Lyon 2nd year student