Meet Ambre Cazaux. Currently in her 3rd semester of Glion’s Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, she opened up to us about her experience in Moorea, French Polynesia, while interning at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa in December 2015.
Ambre travelled extensively as a child. However, French Polynesia was one of the destinations her parents and her missed out on because of it being a fairly long and expensive trip. She mentions how she wanted to stay at a particular island, “Moorea”, since she’d heard it was a fairly secluded community. Ambre highlights the importance of how much she learnt about herself while also learning about the hotel industry, “At the time, I just wanted to go far away from home, test my limits, live alone for 6 months just facing my problems and facing them alone without help. I wanted to develop my personality and my strengths in this field”, she says.
Miss Cazaux had planned her entire internship experience much in advance. She drafted her CV and a motivation letter during her holidays and searched for internship opportunities on the Glion portal whenever she could. Within a month, she was accepted at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa. She admits, it all happened very fast.
A 27-hour flight to Tahiti later, Ambre was all set to begin her Polynesian adventure. On her first day itself, Ambre took a ferry to Moorea, her home for the next month. Moorea is a secluded island close to Papeete and is really famous thanks to its beautiful lagoon and aquatic fauna. Talking about her first impressions of the exotic haven, Ambre exclaims, “The Human Resources manager organized a pick up for me at the harbor, which I thought was very sweet. But when I stepped out of the ferry and saw the island for the first time, I was utterly flabbergasted! The transparent lagoon, tall coconut trees till the eyes could see, gigantic mountains and beautiful, earthy people. Everyone came to welcome me when I arrived and that made me feel at home immediately.”
The thought of two months on this island sounds like a dream. However, Ambre reflects back and lets us know her duties at work during the internship. She says, “I felt really comfortable at work. Every day I was learning something new. I started off working in The Front Office – reception and guest relations – and eventually moved to Housekeeping.” But that’s not to say, Ambre didn’t have fun. As it turns out, Ambre had more than her fair share of leisure time as well. She continues, “I’m fairly outgoing and like I said, most people on the island were very friendly as well. So naturally, as time progressed, I knew almost everyone on the island. There were also many other trainees like myself so let’s just say, there was no dearth of parties and peer bonding while there.”
After a while, all hospitality industry professionals or budding professionals ask themselves whether they can handle all the traveling and time away from home. Having lived away from home for the past 3 years, Ambre clarifies that her two month stint at the internship was actually not that daunting at all since she’s used to living away from her family by now.
The charismatic Glion student leaves us with one last light-hearted memory from when she faced the Hurricane Katrina while at her internship. Ambre shares, “I was at work with one of my colleagues and the storm was really strong. Trees fell down because of the wind, rain flooded the reception, and I was just there, wearing a K-way (a type of rain-resistant jacket/wind-cheater). I confess to you, I was really afraid, however, now when I remember myself in a K-way, trying to protect computers from the rain with beach towels, it’s sort of funny! I never thought about this happening on my front office internship.”
Glion is happy to hear of Ambre’s unique and fun-filled internship experience abroad. Do you have any interesting stories of your time in a new country? Let us hear them in the comments section.