Kyra Martino is a Business Management major and will graduate in May 2019. She interned this summer as a Guest Relations Team Member for Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton in Coronado, California.
How did you get this internship? I told my friend that I was thinking about applying to hotels in San Diego and she had a friend that worked at The Del. He was nice enough to reach out to me, so I sent a resume and cover letter highlighting my past experiences in hospitality and what I hoped to get out of a summer internship. I then interviewed with my boss over Spring Break, and was offered the position for the summer.
What was a typical day like? Every morning our team would run the VIP Guest list of the day, set up the VIP check-in area on the front drive, then issue pocket-sized lists to the valets and doormen. When the guests arrived, we would check them in and handle any requests to the best of our ability. When our department was slow, I would typically help at the front desk, bell desk, valet, and operate the 130 year-old elevator on the operator’s lunch break.
What was your favorite part of the experience? My favorite part was meeting and working with so many wonderful coworkers and making valuable connections. The job would feel most rewarding when guests thanked us for making their experience most memorable. I also really appreciated the opportunity to cross-train and gain experience in other departments.
What did you find most challenging about your internship? It was very difficult to work with unhappy/disappointed guests to resolve some problems that were at the fault of our own, and some that were results of miscommunication or our lack of inventory during the high season. I think that I did get more practice than I could have imagined, and I feel very confident helping guests with a problem and still giving them a wonderful experience.
What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship? I would advise to really make connections. I find that in hospitality, it is more about “who you know” than anything else. Definitely talk to your advisors, peers, and even people you think you could have something in common with on LinkedIn. It is very important to show a strong work ethic with experience and a positive personality.
How did Eller prepare you for your internship? Eller really prepared me well by instilling professionalism and honesty into my presence in the workplace. All of my coworkers including myself made mistakes, and I among most always owned up to them immediately. Occasionally, someone would lie or stretch the truth and that always proved much harder to fix, as well as demote their reputation.
Did your internship employer provide housing or transportation assistance? No, my employer did not provide any housing or transportation assistance.