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Progress Report 5 – Part 2 Christoph Schlegel

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									                 2010


Progress Report 5 – Part 2
       Christoph Schlegel




                 Christoph Schlegel (67196)
                 St Julien Hotel and Spa
Progress Report 5 (42 weeks placement)                       IHM-Industrial Placement


Name of trainee                       : Christoph Schlegel

Period ( dates )                      : from 24th of November 2010 to 14th of January 2011

Name of company                       : St. Julien Hotel & Spa

Department( s )                       : Jill’s Restaurant

Name of supervisor host company       : Philippe Antoine / BJ Smith

Position of supervisor host company   : General Manager Jill’s Restaurant / Rest. Manager

Name of IHM placement mentor          : Mr. Hans den Dulk

Date of submission                    : Monady, 7th of February, 2011

E-mail                                : Christoph.Schlegel@student.stenden.com




   Part 1 Compile a report reflecting on the entire placement. Make an appointment
   with your IHM placement mentor to evaluate your entire industrial placement. You
   do not send this part to the Industrial Placement Office.

   Part 2 Write a comprehensive report ( 2 - 4 pages ) in ENGLISH sent by e-mail,
   which may be used as a source of information for future trainees and with useful
   tips for those who will do their industrial placement after you at your host
   company.

 Note: Please e-mail only part 2 ( SEPERATELY! ) to Mr. Remco Wiersma
 ( remco.wiersma@stenden.com ) and send part 1 & 2 to your IHM placement
      mentor.




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Preface
The fourth year at Stenden University is set up to follow an internship program in a hospitality company,
in this case the hotel ‘St Julien Hotel and Spa’ in Boulder, Colorado (US). It is required to have an
industrial placement of at least 10 month to graduate in the program ‘Bachelor of Business
Administration in Hospitality Management’.

Requirements are not only to follow the placement itself, but to hand in progress reports on a regular
basis, as well as implementing and writing a business improvement project/plan.

The author of this report is following a 10 month placement in the United States of America, specifically
in Boulder, Colorado. This fifth progress report will provide the reader with information about aspects of
my internship at the “St Julien Hotel & Spa” in Boulder, Colorado.




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Table of Contents
                                                                                                                                                                                   Page




1. Information about the Company ................................................................................................................................... 5
2. Orientation Period............................................................................................................................................................... 6
3. Organizational Diagnosis of St Julien Hotel & Spa ................................................................................................. 6
4. Operational tasks at Beginning of Traineeship ....................................................................................................... 7
5. Tips how to get more management tasks .................................................................................................................. 7
6. Operational and Management tasks at the end of my Traineeship ................................................................ 8
7. Cultural Differences ............................................................................................................................................................ 9
8. Cross-exposure Experience ............................................................................................................................................. 9
9. Tips on getting feedback ................................................................................................................................................... 9
10. Finding the right accommodation ........................................................................................................................... 10
11. Social life, sports, ........................................................................................................................................................... 10
12. Additional .......................................................................................................................................................................... 11




                                                                                                                                                                                               4
I spent the past year in Boulder, Colorado, working at Jill's Restaurant, part of the St. Julien Hotel and
Spa. It was a great experience of which I do not regret any day! Boulder is a perfect city to live in with
several outdoor activities, such as rock-climbing during the summer and skiing during the winter.


1. Information about the Company

St. Julien Hotel & Spa is a four diamond property located in downtown Boulder, Colorado. The hotel
with its 201 rooms has been operated for almost 6 years by now and is part of 'Preferred Hotels', a
marketing company for luxury hotels.


The hotel has several outlets of which hotel guests and others can make use of. The hotel's Spa is well
known in Boulder and thus has many guests who are not staying in the hotel. Furthermore, the Spa
facilities include an indoor pool and a small fitness center.
The food and beverage outlets of the hotel are "Jill's Restaurant" and "T-Zero Bar". Jill's restaurant has
formal dining room and a bistro/bar outlet. In the main dining room the four month ago introduced
'table side' food preparation became very popular!
T-Zero serves guests in the bar, in the lobby and during summer time guests on the terrace. It is
specialized in martinis and life music events throughout the week which on the weekends can become
extremely busy.


Another outlet, mainly busy during summer time and fall is 'Banquets'. Several conventions and
weddings are held here in the various meeting rooms.




                                                                                                             5
2. Orientation Period

My orientation period was well structured and no rush or pressure was put on me once I arrived in
Boulder. I was given a schedule by Melissa Campos (HR) which organized my first week. The schedule
included aspects about the hotel, such as a tour of the property, getting to know managers, but also I
was taken to get a social security number, a bank account and so on... Basically, the human resource
department took very well care of me once I arrived in Boulder.


After this first week of overall orientation, I started working in "In Room Dining". Here I was trained on
the menu, on operational standards, such as how to enter guest rooms, and I was getting to know my
colleagues. I was trained for three days before I had to work my first solo shift.


In general I have to say that I got assistance whenever I needed and whenever I had questions I was
more than welcome to ask!


3. Organizational Diagnosis of St Julien Hotel & Spa


  Ownership



 Peter Walstra (GM)



               Joyce Piatt (AGM)


                                             The hotel is privately owned by three local families who are
 Departmental Managers                       strongly involved in daily operations. There is no corporate
                                             office which sets goals that have to be met or provides
                                             guidelines how the hotel has to be operated.
 Departmental Supervisors                    This structure definitely has its advantages with regard to
                                             how the hotel is operated; meaning decisions are made in
                                             house and thus adjustments to the current business
 Staff                                       situation can be made rather fast. However, since ownership




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is strongly involved in daily operations, the final decision is made by them. Consequently, if the entire
board of management agrees upon a certain topic (e.g. promotional tools to be used) the final decision
is made by ownership. This is the most ‘uncommon’ aspect of how this hotel is operated.


4. Operational tasks at Beginning of Traineeship

In the beginning of my traineeship I started working in 'In Room Dining'; meaning I took orders on the
phone, served food to guest rooms. This was a good way to get to know the hotel and the "way of how
things are done here". After this, I worked in the bistro as a barista, bartender, and server. Here I
learned how to prepare all coffee-drinks, cocktails, and the preferred way of serving guests. In general I
can say that I worked in every position in the restaurant which gave me a very good overview of the
entire restaurant operations and prepared me for my upcoming position as restaurant supervisor.


5. Tips how to get more management tasks

I would say the best way to get more management tasks is to perform your given position better than
everybody else. Be always on time, try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to scheduling, and
never refuse to do any additional tasks you are asked for.
Additionally, be never afraid to ask any questions or ask for help.


Furthermore, it is very important to address any issues that might bother you directly to a manager. Do
not start talking about these aspects to coworkers - managers actually appreciate an honest and friendly
way of addressing any issues.
This also counts for aspects of improvement. If you have an aspect that might be easily changed and
that would make operations more efficient, mention it directly to the General Manager of the
restaurant (however, think twice, does your idea really make sense???).
It is also important that your uniform is always clean and ironed; the GM of the restaurant pays close
attention to this!


In general, have knowledge to perform any job in the restaurant, be open, friendly, and just stick to
rules that are made.




                                                                                                             7
6. Operational and Management tasks at the end of my Traineeship

At the end of my traineeship I was working as restaurant supervisor. This position included several
different tasks that were challenging and also very interesting.


I was in charge of the entire restaurant during breakfast and lunch. This means that I had to ensure a
flawless flow of the restaurant. I had to handle guest complaints, had to make decisions with regard to
staffing (send people home), and so on.
If the restaurant was short staffed due to people who were sick, I had to jump in and perform any
position that was needed at that point.
Additionally, I had to ensure that every server closed out correctly after their shift, meaning that cash
amounts were right, their shift report was correct, and any needed adjustments were made.


Besides these duties, I had a several desk responsibilities, too. This included taking care of 'labor
manager' for the entire restaurant staff; this is a program that codes employee wages, employee
working times, and breaks. Finally, this program determines the amount of money shown on every
employee's paycheck.


Furthermore, I had frequent guest contact with past and future guests via email. Often occurring
requests were about menu, reservations, or about receipts that got lost and were needed for tax
purposes of the guest.


Finally, I was in charge of making the floor plan for Thanksgiving and Christmas Brunch. This was
challenging since it was a seating chart for about 300 people who almost any had some special requests
(e.g. wheelchair accessible; window table; ...).




                                                                                                            8
7. Cultural Differences

In general I have to say that I did not encounter any real problems with regard to cultural differences
during my stay. This might have come up due to several aspects that came together for me.
First, Boulder is totally different from the rest of the US that I have seen so far; people are open, accept
differences, and simply let you be you.
Furthermore, the team working at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa is very diverse in its cultural backgrounds.
For example the head chef of the restaurant is French as is the restaurant's General Manager.
Additionally, I used to have a North American roommate for several years which already indicated
several differences to me.


The only aspect that Europeans really have to watch is their direct approach in addressing any topic.
Americans are really sensitive to any sort of direct feedback and upfront comments. If you will do that,
you will soon have the reputation of being rude.


They might address feedback it in a different way - think about all the aspects that they do not say about
a situation and you might figure out their real opinion. To the public, everything is wonderful, awesome,
and great...
However, this superficial way of picturing life and the world disappears once you really get to know the
people. Once there is trust, people will start slowly to give you a bigger insight into their real thoughts
and concerns (but this needs time).


8. Cross-exposure Experience

If you decide on an F&B internship, it is most likely that you will be working in 'In Room Dining' and Jill's
restaurant. Those two outlets I worked in are serving almost the same menu, thus the only difference
was my manager and the way of serving. However, it sometimes is possible to pick up shifts in
'Banquets' which I did twice just to experience the difference.


9. Tips on getting feedback

If you will be working in the restaurant you will hardly encounter problems with getting feedback. The
General Manager of the restaurant is very upfront and tells you immediately what was done well and
what should be done different the next time.


If you would like to have a more intense feedback talk, which might help you to get more
responsibilities, just simply ask for it!




                                                                                                                9
10. Finding the right accommodation

Since Boulder is a student town, it is not really hard to find accommodation. However, Boulder is
expensive and be prepared to pay rent and one to two month deposit. To get a decent room, you should
calculate about 600 dollars rent per month.


Boulder does not have an area where you should not live. However, be aware that the closer you live to
the mountains the more likely it is that you will encounter wildlife at some point (bear, mountain lion,
deer, and elk). Thus, everything west of 9th street should be ok. Furthermore, most students / young
people live on 'the Hill' (South of Arapahoe Ave), which is close to the university.


The best way to find a room is to check www.craigslist.org; It is also possible to place an ad here that
you are looking for a room.




11. Social life, sports, ...

                                                 Boulder offers lots of outdoor activities, such as hiking
                                                 and rock-climbing, which you can find on
                                                 www.bouldercolorado.gov.
                                                 It is also worth to visit an ice-hockey gave at the Pepsi-
                                                 Center (www.pepsicenter.com) in Denver or to go to a
                                                 concert at Red-Rocks amphitheater
                                                 (www.redrocksonline.com).




However, since it is the United States and everything is a
little further away, a car might come in handy. If you have
                                       a car, you want to
                                       visit Rocky
                                       Mountain National
                                       Park, the highway
                                       starts from Estes
                                       Park which is a
                                       good place to see wildlife such as Moose, too.




                                                                                                              10
Furthermore, it is definitely worth to make a trip to Moab, Utah. Here you can find Canyon-lands
National Park and Arches National Park. If you go during the summer, take enough water along since it
will get very hot!


If you plan on traveling a little further, such as city trips to Las Vegas or San Francisco, you can always
find good deals on www.priceline.com. These deals are mostly short notice, however definitely worth it
(I got a return flight and two hotel nights in
Vegas for $130; hotel on the strip).




12. Additional

Colorado, respectively Boulder is definitely
made to spend your leisure time outside
(300 days of sunshine). If you are not interested in that, you might want to choose a different state since
clubbing is not that big and only possible in Denver. AND every bar/club closes at 2 am!


Furthermore, if you go out in Boulder/Colorado you will always have to show your ID anytime you buy
an alcoholic drink! If you do not want to carry your passport around all the time, get a Colorado ID card
(pretty easy with your visa).




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