Editor's Note: The University of Baguio deploys its Hotel & Restaurant Management and Tourism students in establishments in the country and abroad for its local and international on-the-job training program. In the following article, UB intern Presirika shares her experience training in South Carolina, U.S.A.
The 5,000-acre Sea Pines Resort in South Carolina, U.S.A.
Clear, blue skies. Tall, green trees. A breath of fresh air. It all reminds me of home. South Carolina, here I am. This will be my home away from home – where I am about to take the first step towards making my dreams come true.
U.S.A., as they say, is a “land of opportunities.” I guess that’s true. I chose to take my internship training program here because I knew that I would be exposed through hands-on trainings and experiences that will further stimulate my interest in hospitality-oriented career. Also, this would provide me an opportunity to become a world-class trainee to become globally competitive.
I was accepted to be a part of the working team at the Sea Pines Resort located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – a 5,000-acre resort. It is one of the biggest and grandest places where golfers play. This is where the annual PGA Tournament is held.
When I started my journey, I had to be fully prepared. One of my biggest struggles was biking from my apartment to my workplace. I knew how to bike when I was young but I have not done it for a long, long time since I am not fond of biking. My dilemma was reaching my workplace on time. During the first week, I had to practice biking around the vicinity to get used to it. Since I was a slow biker, I had to start at 4 o’clock in the morning. I was alone in the dark road until my friends who started at a later time would join me and we would reach the place together. It was one of the hardest days. I would even fall from the bike, leaving bruises on my legs. I thought I could not bike again. But I told myself that falling down is not a hindrance to fulfilling my dreams. Eventually, I got used to it and would race with my friends.
I was assigned at the Harbour Town Bakery & Café. Putting up with the heat in the kitchen, bearing with non-stop ticket orders, running hundreds of steps each day to take orders and still managing to smile when you serve – this was my routine. I realized that no job is easy but no job is difficult when you learn to love what you are doing. The manager, Mary Kuchinow, taught me how it is like to learn from your experiences. She taught me the value of patience, diligent and teamwork. There was so much to learn from her that I looked forward to each day as a new beginning.
After all the sweat and tears that I had shed throughout the internship program, this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. Being able to experience delivering hospitality at its best made it all worthwhile. I developed a different understanding of and love for the hospitality and culinary world.
My training has come to an end but this is only the beginning to achieving my vision in life towards my goal. I am enthralled to continue my journey. I am truly grateful that the University of Baguio in general and the School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management in particular opened this kind of opportunity for me. I will forever treasure all the principles and values I learned in the University. – Presirika Fatima Ramolete
Presirika biking her way to work
Presirika (second from right) with the Harbour Town Bakery & Café staff
The UB interns
The UB trainees
Presirika Fatima Ramolete is a senior BS Hotel and Restaurant Management student of the University of Baguio.