August 5, 2021 | Training
For a student or a newly former student, internships can be daunting. Personally, I was very anxious going into my first ever internship which started back in January with JOR Hospitality Solutions. Over the past eight months I have experienced one personal development after the other which truly is what an internship is all about. It’s about exploring an industry and trying new things to see what resonates with you and what doesn’t. After reflecting on the past eight months, I have concluded that there are four distinct things that have helped me and have molded me into the professional I am today.
No. 1 – Get out of your comfort zone & take the first step.
Have you ever heard the saying: “growth and development begins out of your comfort zone”? Well, it’s true, you can’t grow in the familiar. I know this to be true because I applied to the JOR Hospitality Solutions purely out of whim and curiosity. I didn’t know if anything would come of it, nor if it would be something that would benefit me. However, after the first interview and speaking with the founder, I knew this was the route I was meant to be on. I implore you to take a leap of faith the next time you see an opportunity. To take the first step and put yourself out there in order to grow.
No. 2 – Ask any & all questions.
For many people, asking questions is seen to be a weakness. However, if you turn your perspective around, it can be seen as an opportunity to grow and be better. When I first started with JOR Hospitality Solutions one of the first things Mr. Raimondi made very clear to me was that he encouraged and wanted me to ask questions. For me, this was a very natural thing. I have never had any problems with asking for help. However, some people are not comfortable with it. This can be caused by a previous experience where asking questions didn’t end up helping you, or maybe you don’t want to show “weakness”. If your boss or mentee is truly there to help and teach you, questions will be welcomed.
No. 3 – Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something.
In correlation with no. 2, admitting you don’t know something, or need to be taught something can be seen as a sign of “weakness”. I too saw this as a soft spot for criticism, however after putting my faith in Mr. Raimondi, I have learned that it is better to ask and get things done then to dwell on something you don’t know and prolong the process. Mr. Raimondi admitted very early on to me that he would rather me be honest about what it is I do or do not know then to brush it off and lie. He knew it would only hurt me as well as make him less strong of a leader.
No. 4 – Ask for feedback!
I cannot stress this point enough: Feedback is not a bad thing. If I have learned one thing from my time as an intern, it would be that feedback is essential. I wouldn’t have been able to grow or change if I hadn’t have asked/wanted it. Good mentors or bosses will openly give you feedback, and it won’t necessarily be in a negative context. Recently, I have also been learning how feedback has such a negative connotation with it through my studies at Rosen College. This is the biggest thing that needs to change in the hospitality industry in my opinion, and even in any industry. Instead of dreading feedback from a boss or authority figure, we need to start thinking of it as a way get better. Feedback doesn’t (and shouldn’t) necessarily mean it is going to be negative. If you take this step into consideration, I promise you that you will look at how you work differently.
I am sure if you asked anyone who has ever been an intern, they will have a list of things they learned and experienced from their time. These four topics happen to be mine and I am so glad that they are. For one working women to any intern, the moral of the story is to not be afraid of the unknown, and not shy away from asking the hard questions.
Written by: Media Relations Ambassador; Caroline Laszlo