During my time abroad, I have had the opportunity to intern at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Not only is it one of the most beautiful Victorian buildings in a neo-gothic architectural style, but it is also the very place the Spice Girls filmed their first ever music video ‘Wannabe’. I have been so lucky to be able to intern alongside of the human resources team who really have been so helpful taught me so much. However, it has not been the easiest job because this is my first real internship experience and at times, I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing.
My first day at the hotel, I was so nervous. I walked in and had no idea how to get to the human resources office and no idea what to expect. I knew what I did not expect, though. I did not expect to have responsibilities that would actually have a significant impact on the business if I messed up. I did not expect to be treated as an equal on the team. I did not expect to struggle as much as I did at times. I did not expect to have as much fun as I have at times. This internship has completely exceeded my expectations. There have definitely been triumphs and trials at my internship, but there is definitely no other way I would have preferred it.
On my first day, I had no idea what to expect from my coworkers. I was expecting an office of Londoners, and I thought I would stick out like a sore thumb. Turns out, they are from all over Europe and their diversity is what makes them so special. They immediately accepted me in to their team and wanted me to make myself at home as much as possible, and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met. However, that’s not to say that everything was all great all the time.
When I first came, I really struggled with the amount of autonomy I had. They gave me a list of tasks with some kind of one or two sentence description, and besides that I was on my own. At first, I was really hesitant to ask questions, but I have found that they expect me to have questions and there is no harm in asking and asking too many questions is certainly better than making too many mistakes. The level of autonomy I was given was really scary at first, but now I have found that it has made me so much more confident in my abilities to perform any task. The first time I was asked to send out an email to all hotel associates, I got so nervous about the formatting and any typos that I read it over for almost an hour before I sent it out. Now, I feel so much more comfortable in my role and in my abilities. It just really goes to show how far I have come in my professional development, and I am really proud of myself.
If I could give any advice to someone doing an internship abroad, it would be to be prepared to have all your expectations thrown out, ask questions, and even though things can be scary at first, just go for it!