Don’t Disregard the Basics of Hospitality

Critical Reflection on Skills and Competencies

Believe it or not, the hospitality industry is essential for our modern world. This fact is backed by the industry being within the top five largest employers in the United States and the world. Another reason is that so many people rely on this industry to fulfill the basic needs of transportation, accommodation, food, and entertainment for work and recreational purposes. Although some areas of this industry are known for temporary part-time employment, a majority of our life depends on the hospitality industry. In general, hospitality is important for everyone because it deepens existing relationships and creates the space for new ones to flourish. Overall, everyone can benefit from working within the hospitality industry to develop soft and hard skills. Investing in a career within the hospitality industry means there are endless possibilities with travel opportunities and personal development. Beyond that, the industry offers adaptable, universal experiences that sharpen skills that are globally recognized and applicable to any business or future career routes.
As for me, I believe I have truly evolved my emotional intelligence by experiencing a different culture and understanding how to create a comfortable environment for all. This development was also aided by the further expansion of communication skills through verbal and written formats. Other transferable skills I have cultivated at my placement include the ability to multitask, creative problem-solving, flexibility, and customer service skills. Excellent customer service is about exceeding customers’ needs and delivering positive guest relations. By working in reception at the Stephen’s Green Club, I have also learned how to juggle daily tasks and unexpected problems like being overbooked during a wedding.
While working at my placement, I have also expanded my knowledge of basic operations software and point of sales systems. In reception, there are several organization systems we use for reservations of accommodations, dining, event spaces, and our snooker rooms. These range from simple handwritten records to complex computer software. Several opportunities have given me the chance to apply my computer-based proficiency in programs such as Outlook, Word, and Excel. While these technical skills will help me down the road when applying for jobs after graduation, the soft skills are equally important, if not more.
Regarding global competencies, I tend to use critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity skills every day at my placement. Whether that is to juggle reservation requests for guests with only twelve bedrooms or handle stressful situations of issues like overbooking. Overall to navigate cross-cultural situations, I have relied on my cultural awareness and global perspective. In the hospitality industry, it is very common to interact with people who have different beliefs, values, personalities, expectations, etc. It is very important to develop cultural awareness to accommodate, accept, and respect the differences you may interact with within the workplace. This connects with my understanding of cultural diversity through my expanding global perspective. By working in Ireland’s premier membership club, I have been introduced to several high-profile locals and a range of international travelers. This experience has greatly opened my eyes to a new perspective regarding diversity, reflection, and collaboration.

Although my last blog post was probably my most memorable one, this past week has been completely different. Last Monday morning, I woke with a terrible sore throat and conducted an at-home test for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the test was positive, and I have been self-isolating in my dorm accommodation since then. Even by the end of day one, I missed going to work and my coworkers. Put in perspective how much I will miss them after the program ends. Unlike other placements, I can not work from home for several reasons. One is, that I can not access the reservation system or work email from my accommodation. So I could not stay preoccupied with work-related assignments and was forced to face boredom for the most part. When I first realized I would not be able to go to work for so long, I honestly felt defeated. I was supposed to be running the reception department by myself while my supervisor finished her vacation in France, but since I tested positive, I lost the opportunity to stand on my own. I had hoped that during this time I could manage reception on my own and keep up with daily tasks so that when my supervisor returned, there would not be a pile of work for them to catch up on. Unfortunately, they return to work the same day I will.
The good news is that another program member was placed at the Stephen’s Green Club the day I tested positive. Although the Club is on the smaller side, there are still plenty of opportunities for us to explore every operational department and not hinder each other’s workload.

Feast your eyes on some lunches I have consumed at work. The head chef, Wayne, is testing how much spice I can handle. So far I have continued to surprise him. Fun Fact, employees are allowed to order meals from the kitchen during their shift.