Last week was my first week as an intern at the Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel. I was very nervous because I have never interned anywhere before or have any real office experience. However, I was also very excited to finally gain the real world exposure I had been longing for. Even on my first day on Monday, I learned so much about office culture here in London and I learned how to do the tasks I’ll be carrying out the following 6 weeks.
On my first day, I entered the magnificent and luxurious hotel unsure of where to go. It is one of the largest hotels in London with over 400 guest rooms. The hotel also houses the Great Room, one of the largest ballrooms in Europe with a capacity of 2000 seats. Once I was greeted by the Director of Finance, he took me on a tour of the building. When he showed me the brilliant Great Room, he mentioned that they host several events A DAY, one of their biggest including the reception for the British version of our Oscars. When I met with my supervisor, she explained to me why the Grosvenor House is so different for two reasons. One, it is a hotel, so it operates 24 hours a day, unlike many other industries. Secondly, the Grosvenor House earns their revenue 50% based on hotel rooms and 50% food and beverage in their many restaurants, banquets, and other events. I was blown away by the place where I would be working half the summer.
My placement is in the Finance Department, embedded in what I called a maze in the basement underneath the extravagant hotel. The office is much less impressive than the rest of the hotel. It is divided into an accounts receivable and accounts payable side, and I do most of my work on the accounts payable part of the office. Specifically, I have been placed in income audit, so I am in charge of the corrections of the day and making sure they are backed up by a supervisor or manager. I also am in charge of completing the bankings for the prior day, since the hotel works one day behind. It is a very extensive and detailed process that I am finally starting to get the hang of. I also complete other various tasks, including inputting Marriott Rewards member invoice numbers. I enjoy what I have been assigned to do because I feel that I am doing meaningful work–most of the time.
Another perk of my internship is that lunch is provided every day in the “canteen” known as The Hub. During lunchtime, the eating area is packed with so many employees from housekeeping, to management, to my colleagues in the finance department, and more. Everyone seems to be so talkative and friends with each other. In my office, I was surprised by how nice and happy my coworkers were to be with one another. I have also observed that all of the employees in the Finance Department must wear uniforms, which I found interesting because they do not ever really have face-to-face guest interactions. Also, the office is set up in a way that facilitates teamwork, even though each employee has their own, distinct duty. Each side, accounts payable and accounts receivable, is set up in a pod fashion, with the employees all facing in toward their computers. Everyone at the office is very welcoming and hospitable, offering me to eat lunch with them or asking me if I want tea, or simply just checking up on how I am doing. In addition, the employees at the Marriott are very diverse, which I found very intriguing. I was expecting most of the employees to be British, but across the hotel in the many departments and in my own department, there are so many different ethnicities. Some of my coworkers in the office are from Italy, Bangladesh, India, and more. I think it is so cool that I have been granted the opportunity to work with people of so many different backgrounds and nationalities.
At first, I was uneasy about my internship placement because I was unsure of the tasks I needed to complete and how to really do them. I am finally starting to get a hang of what I need to be doing and who to ask if I need assistance. I am also now comfortable with my commute to the office, which only takes about 25 minutes. I look forward to all of the valuable experience I will gain over the next 6 weeks.