About the Author: Rajarshi Nandi, a student of Institute of Hotel Management, Kolkata, did his internship at Hard Rock hotels, Goa, and provides intricate details of his journey through his insightful diary entries.
6:30 p.m., 7th May 2016
“Your future shall be decided by the hotel’s name on your internship certificate,” one of my seniors had told me a few days after I took admission into hotel management degree course, “and getting the certificate from a reputed hotel is no cakewalk. In fact, it’s a nightmare. You may prepare for that interview for months, strengthening your vocabulary, sharpening your soft skills, building your confidence and so on. But despite all your efforts, on the much-awaited day of the interview with your dream hotel’s HR manager, your performance may fall inches short of their expectations,” he continued his speech.
I don’t know about inches. All I know is that I could not make it today. Well, never mind. Rome wasn’t built in a day anyway.
10:00 a.m., 9th May 2016
A new day and a new beginning. Nothing can go wrong today. I won’t let anything go wrong. I will be so outstanding today that they’ll have no choice but to hire me.
7:00 p.m., 9th May 2016
Seven students got selected today out of eight. I was the eighth one. The set of questions they asked us hardly varied. My levels of confidence, knowledge, and sincerity were same as those seven, if not more. Then, why?
8:00 p.m., 14th May 2016
Over the last four days, three other companies had recruited interns for their hotels from our college. My friends, most of my classmates, and even my lethargic roommate had been selected. I had painstakingly listened and followed every syllable of the personality development teacher in all the sessions that I attended. And yet, I have failed. Just a few weeks ago, my fluent English and sound technical knowledge had made my friends choose me as the class representative. I used to conduct mock interviews and today, I am the element of their mockery. Perhaps, my uncle is right. I am, indeed, good-for-nothing. I wish I was born as a rich industrialist and acquired the right to success in every single day of life or as a celebrated actor whose glitter of stardom eclipsed all his failures in life.
10:00 p.m., 18th May 2016
After a long time, I had a conversation with my parents. If sensing her child’s plight and emolliating his wounds with her words are ingrained abilities of a mother, then lifting his sunken spirits must be one of the gifts of a father. Too bad, I took this long to realise it. After a long time, I shall get some peaceful sleep tonight. Maybe, I am not so worthless after all. Let me take a look at the website of the hotel that is coming tomorrow for hiring.
4:00 p.m., 19th May 2016
“Tell us about yourself”, “Why us?”, “Which department you like the most and why?”, “Why do you think you are a good fit for our hotel?” and so on – the similar set of questions that had been asked before. I have no idea what happened today. All I know is that throughout the interview this afternoon, I could recollect no part of what my personality development teacher had spoken, and I could not visualise Shiv Khera’s confident face on the cover of his book. The words of Dale Carnegie that I had worshipped for the last few months, somehow, melted into irrelevance during that half an hour of interview. All I could see on the blue sky through the window behind the interviewers’ backs were my parents’ faces – their reassuring words, their affectionate sentences in spite of my failures, and most importantly, the fact that they are proud of me, come what may.
I opened the mail from Hard Rock Hotels, Goa, which stated that I have been selected for the internship. As I said, I have no idea what happened. But I have learnt something today. I have learnt that some tough battles can be won under the guidance of good professional teachers. The tougher ones, however, require your parents or perhaps just a small conversation with them.
10:00 p.m., 31st May 2016
It is so difficult to maintain a steady handwriting in a moving train. However, can I blame the movement of the train when excitement isn’t allowing my mind to be steady for even a moment? As a hotel management intern, I need to work in four departments – food and beverage, front office, housekeeping, and kitchen. Seniors told me that the tasks I need to perform are lowly, inferior, and beyond one’s dignity. A distant aunt who had spent some time in Calangute (the city I’ll have to stay in) has warned me that transportation is a huge problem, the weather is adverse, decent food is hard to come by, accommodation is expensive, and a dozen other things about the city. Over the last few days, the world around me seemed to have made numerous attempts to convince me that this internship and I were just not made for each other. Evidently, none of those attempts met success, as my eagerness to start my internship has not been dwindled.
Editor’s note: Excited to know what happened after Rajarshi started his internship in Goa? Read the next part of this internship diary – How Rajarshi adjusted to the new Goan culture and his everyday struggles at the Hard Rock Hotel.