Having the opportunity to be able to undergo internship in Finland for 6 months has been a dream come true. Upon arriving at Jyvaskyla Finland, I was actually quite surprised because it was vastly different from Singapore, the trees, the buildings and the people. I was attached to Sokos Hotel Alexandra for my internship. I am currently nearing my third month of internship and I have to say that the experience is overwhelming.
For my first month, I was attached to the housekeeping section and I have learned so much. Trust me when I say that whatever we learned during our Year 2 hospitality immersion progamme was put to good use here. I had to make a whole room by myself at the end of the first week. Washing the toilets, changing the bed linens and checking the mini-bar is just part of my daily routine.
I worked in the restaurant for the second month and the kitchen in the third month. I have also learned from my colleagues a few basic Finnish words because the hotel guests tends to ask common questions about the newspaper, toilets or porridge being served during buffet breakfast. Thus, learning these simple words enables me to direct the guests to what they want.
Also, the appearance of the buffet table and dining tables matters a great deal especially in a hotel where everything has to look proper, just like in a fine-dining restaurant. Other than breakfast service, I also have to prepare the glass bottles and wine glasses for the lunch buffet (Picture 1&2) for meeting groups who have already reserved their slots with us.
Apart from pouring water into these wine glasses, I also had to prepare the buffet table for the lunch groups (Picture 3)
I have to say that these past three months have been really enriching for me. I am really able to put my study of tourism modules into good use, for instance, food and beverage because hygiene is so important here in Finland and it is actually a benefit if you know the safety steps.
Of course, Finland is not just all work and no play. Apart from working, I have a great social life after making friends with my colleagues and strangers (from Asia) in Finland.
In Picture 4, I am having a weekly floor ball game with people from China, Finland, Hungary and Germany. On this night, it was Asians vs International.
All in all, I have to say that the 6 months of internship is worth it.
But hey, if you are a tourism student truly searching for experience especially in the hotel and F&B industry, what better way than to come to Finland to experience these AND a whole new different culture?