Going to Chile was not a decision taken lightly by young Sébastien. He wanted a real experience so he chose a continent about which he knew nothing. “I wanted to find out about a totally different culture.
I wanted to experience an adventure of sorts.” Sébastien’s choice of country was not among the destinations usually selected by students.
Chile is rarely chosen, something that Sébastien doesn’t understand, and he’s hoping his experience will encourage other students to give it a go.
Sébastien, who’s spending his last month in Chile, tells us that his work experience has been fantastic. Although his colleagues are not used to living and working with foreigners, especially from Europe, the student says that he was given a warm welcome and that the people are really friendly. “I felt totally accepted and the general ambiance is excellent!” he said, describing the many events organised for employees of the Novotel Santiago during his stay.
The work experience has been very rewarding for the young 20-year-old. The hotel gave him an opportunity to work in various jobs during his 4-month placement, allowing him to acquire new skills in areas such as events and sales. He was also able to work as a receptionist, an F&B assistant, a quality manager and in the accounts department, all of them areas that he considers important for the smooth running of a hotel.
“This experience has given me considerable insight into the running of the hotel and the links between the various positions.”
As far as his future is concerned, Sébastien now feels much more confident. His knowledge of a different culture and his new fluency in Spanish are very real advantages, in both personal and professional terms. By working in various jobs, he was given a wide range of skills. However, although he now knows what he doesn’t want to do later, he has not yet reached a decision on his future career. He hopes to find what’s right for him before the end of his placement.
Originally, Sébastien wanted to go to Chile to learn to speak impeccable Spanish but his decision to travel to somewhere totally different has now become something he is considering for his future. “South America’s a great place to live so I might come back again…”
Any advice? Sébastien advises students about to embark on work experience to be confident and follow their dreams. Most importantly of all, they should not let fears or prejudices stand in their way.
“I totally recommend this work experience. It can be frightening to travel so far on your own but I’ve really discovered an incredible place!”
After only a few weeks in the country, he decided to share accommodation with other foreigners and with locals to maximise his chances of integrating and meet a lot of people. He believes that you have to be open-minded when travelling, and accepting of different lifestyles!
Despite an experience that he describes as extraordinary, the young student is now looking forwarding to returning to normal everyday life back in France.
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