Seth Felix, 28, Fresno, Ca
California State University Long Beach, B.A. in Communications
Track: Internship Tel Aviv
Internship: Reception and Concierge Moriah Plaza Tel Aviv Hotels in Tel Aviv, Israel
I enjoy working with people, which could explain why I am enjoying this internship so much. While working in the Kabbalah, I am always in constant contact with other departments such as security, housekeeping, the business center, three different in-house restaurants, as well as bell boys, and the laundry department. Maintaining great communication with these departments is essential to providing our guests with the best possible stay at the Moriah Plaza.
My favorite part of this internship includes a couple of aspects. First, the reason I am so enthused about the actual position is that I am able to help people and make their day/stay as enjoyable as possible. When I recommend a restaurant to eat at or to visit a particular tourist site, it makes my day to hear their feedback, which in most cases is positive. Knowing that I contributed to their pleasurable experience is what makes me want to come back to work everyday and stay in this industry. Secondly, I love the people I work with.
At first I was expecting them to look at me as if i was an outsider, not being Israeli and hardly speaking Hebrew. But I was pleasantly shocked of how patient my manager and co-workers were and have continued to be. I try to use my Hebrew as much as possible, but there are those times when I must turn to a fellow employee for assistance. Not only that but when a guest becomes irritated because of my lack of Hebrew knowledge, my Manager is quick to jump in and explain to them to be patient with me because I am in the process of learning Hebrew and that I am trying to make Alliyah... the guest usually changes their tone.
How did you hear about this WUJS Israel program?
My mom found WUJS for me. Find out more @ Masa
What responsibilities will you have during this internship?
I work at the Kabbalah, or in English in the Reception Department of The Moriah Plaza Hotel. I take on the responsibility as a concierge as well as help guests and potential guests during their arrival, the duration of their stay, and make sure they have a pleasant departure. Every day my responsibilities vary, mostly I begin my day with assigning rooms and making room keys for expected tour groups staying at our hotel.
On a daily basis I can expect a tourist group of 40 people from Germany to the entire Israeli Olympic Soccer team and their entourage. I prepeare their check-ins ahead of time to avoid chaos in the lobby and to ensure their arrival is smooth and relaxing. Another task of mine, during my managerial training, is pre-blocking rooms for group arrivals a day in advance, which creates less stress and a smooth arrival on their check-in day. During my shift I also check guests in and out of their rooms, providing them with information in and around the hotel as well as in the city of Tel Aviv.
What are your goals for this internship program?
I want to gain experience in my current field and hope for a great career opportunity upon my return to the states. I also want to improve my Hebrew, as well as make lifelong friends from WUJS.
Have you had any difficulties settling in?
Yes, we bought vanilla milk by mistake. And on the way home from work the first day, Michal and I ended up in the city of Holon... finally arriving home 2 ½ hours later.
What did your friends say when you told them your plan to come to Israel?
My family was very encouraging, while my friends thought I was CRAZY/INSANE.
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