I learned German for the last 1.5 years, passed the exam, and am planning to have my exchange there the next year. Therefore, a summer practical training in Germany was a logical step for me: not only my German can be improved and polished, but also new experiences can be gained. Moreover, this work turned out to be a completely new sphere for me since I have never worked before in the hotel business. I planned to work in Hotel Schloss Wolfsbrunnen, a hotel made from a 20th-century castle in a little village in the center of Germany.
After a long and rather difficult managing of all the needed documents, I moved from Finland to Germany taking 3-4 days to do so. I lived in one of the hotel rooms and started to work one day after I arrived and did breakfast with my coworker. It was interesting to see the other side of the hotel since till then I only saw it as a guest. It turned out to be way harder than one sees as a guest to wake up so early and greet a lot of people with a smile and constantly pay attention if someone needs something. I started later also to serve big celebrations together with all service team. Among those were mostly weddings and birthdays. Moreover, afterward, I began to work in housekeeping as well with the main tasks of cleaning rooms and public places. One has to remember so many things: which places should be cleaned, what rooms should be done first, what things should be brought in each room, how everything should be placed, and a lot of other information. Apart from it, after 2-3 weeks I started to do breakfasts alone. It was a big responsibility, and some days were harder than others depending on the number of people coming. The work is hard both physically and mentally, but I think people who truly love to interact and communicate a lot, who love order and cleanliness, and who are interested in providing service to people for their good stay, will like this job.
I had to finish my practical training earlier than planned because of health reasons, but, in general, I can say that I learned a lot of new things about the hotel industry in terms of service, gastronomy, and housekeeping. Besides, I am and will never be the same hotel or restaurant guest as I was before. Remembering how much energy and effort this work asks, you cannot be calm while seeing people working in these spheres, and you want unconsciously to help them even if it means just leaving the room clean or putting plates for a waiter to take it comfortably. Moreover, my German improved and polished a lot since every day I had to speak it. I am not sure that I want to work again in this industry in the future, but it was a very valuable experience for my studies and me.
Author: Elizaveta Bronitsyna,