My placement at the hotel was the turning point in my life. Even though I considered my college and university knowledge enough to understand the operations at work, doing those activities was a completely another story.
Since Chinese is my first language, I encountered difficulties in communicating with guests and management. I also felt that my scope for promotion was being restricted due to my poor English speaking and writing skills. If there was something I could not understand, I would assume the 'standing back' and 'watch and learn' approaches. At times I understood what activities I was instructed to do, but at others I simply misunderstood the instructions and in the end the result of my work would be completely useless. Due to improper English speaking skills I shied out of any staff or public meetings which created an impression that I was too arrogant to attend such an event. The worst part was that I knew had the capability to work collaboratively with other members and get a strong result in my favour and yet I could not do it because of my poor English. At this point of time I decided to do an English Language course while continuing my work at Holiday Inn. This proved to be a turning point in my short career. Not only I became fluent in speaking English, I gained confidence at work and was able to show my full potential to the management. Now rather than just standing back I came forward and inquired my supervisors about problems and their likely solutions. I also started approaching my seniors for help when ever I got time. Once a Chinese tourist came to stay at Holiday Inn and leapt up at the opportunity to introduce myself and inquire about any things that the visitor wanted. Since we both came from China, a business-customer relationship was created and I was able to cater to the needs the visitor. From this experience I learned that we must all focus on our core competencies and use them to gain competitive advantage. In my case, my additional knowledge of the Chinese language gave me a competitive advantage with respect to my fellow colleagues.
Similarly one afternoon a high ranking British national came to book the Dining Hall for the evening for a special occasion. Unfortunately the holiday season was up and the hotel was doing roaring business so we did not have any available slot for the Dining Hall for the British national. At that very moment a thought of one of my management professors hit me. My professor had said that 'it was in the best interests on the business to cater to the best interests of the customer'. Then and there I decided that I somehow had to make way for the customer. My project management skills came in handy at the time as I brought my resources to compensate the customer at another nearby hotel. This created goodwill on my part and as well on the part of the hotel.
It was my good fortune that my supervisors were very helpful. Even in the early days when I was having difficulties with my language, my supervisors encouraged me to challenge my disability and continue in the path towards success. This helped me take control of my pathetic situation, aided in analysing my options and finally when I took the decision to work and study at the time, I came through with great results.
During my tenure of a year and two months, I held the position of an F&B team member in the restaurant. Due to my exemplary record