Hospitality Institute students toasting the successful completion of their internship with the Elegant Hotels Group. (GP)
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EIGHT BARBADOS COMMUNITY College’s (BCC) Hospitality Institute students recently completed a successful six-week internship with Elegant Hotels and used words like “great”, “amazing” and “awesome” to express their delight and satisfaction for the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the various departments.
Elegant is Barbados’ largest hotel industry employer and comprises Colony Club, Treasure Beach, Tamarind, The House, Crystal Cove, Waves Hotel & Spa and Daphne’s Restaurant on the West Coast and Turtle Beach on the South Coast.
Speaking during a farewell at Tamarind to mark the end of the internship, the Hospitality Institute’s academic tutor Lynette Francis-Thornhill also praised Elegant.
“We are very pleased to have had the cooperation of Elegant because it is essential that our industry partners are involved in the experience that our students get. It completes the circle, giving them a more holistic experience and appreciation for all the industry has to offer. I am pleased that Elegant took us on board and we now look forwards to a continued partnership with the company,” she said.
Francis-Thornhill noted that Culinary Arts was one of three Associate Degree programmes offered by the Institute with the others being Hospitality Studies and Tourism and Travel. She was happy that Elegant has introduced students from all three to the industry.
Speaking on behalf of the Elegant Group, human resources director Ian Gooding-Edghill said, “We regard internships as having a twofold benefit: the students gain essential real-world industry experience and the company gets an early preview of potential future employees”.
He told the students, “I am pleased that you were able to experience multiple departments at Elegant, as this exposure would assist you in making your future career choices. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to accommodate such a group of industrious and enthusiastic young people and, obviously, we know that you have been trained and exposed to our standards, making it easy for any of you to fit into our organisation in the future as true employees.”
In turn, all the students sang high praises to Elegant for their experiences in various departments across the properties.
Tremaine Arthur who was attached to the House stated, “Going into the hotel I was saying that front desk would have been my favourite but restaurant turned out to be. I worked front desk, restaurant and housekeeping and it was very good. Everybody welcomed me with open arms.”
Deandra Webb, who was attached to Tamarind said: “I was in HR for six weeks and my experience was awesome and I learned a lot. I actually wanted to go into HR so that was really helpful because when I go to UWI that’s what I am going to be majoring in. But I really enjoyed myself. I was never bored. It was great.”
Prior to the Hospitality Institute, Elegant Hotels provided similar internships for students of the Vocational Training Board as well as a group from the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), who will be finishing their stint in the coming weeks. (PR)