5 Tips for International Hotel Interns

“My life changed a lot by moving from Providence to New Orleans,” says JWU student Xiao, who interned at Marriott. "But the biggest change would be converting from a student to a full-time employee. This is my very first job, and I definitely dedicate 100% to it.”

JWU student Xiao Geng did her International Hotel & Tourism Management internship at MarriottXiao's internship experience earned her a service award nomination.

Here are her tips for you:

My Hotel Internship Tips
By Xiao “Joanna” Geng ’12
From: China
International Hotel & Tourism Management major

1. Volunteer Participate in activities organized by your company. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. I definitely would recommend it. You will learn more about the essence of hospitality and care while you are giving back.

2. Seize Entry-Level Opportunities
A lot of students don’t appreciate entry-level jobs that much, as they are holding a management degree.

My suggestion is to start from the very basic jobs and you will learn a lot from it. Especially in hospitality, you cannot manage the property unless you know how to operate it.

Be humble and willing to learn from others. I learn more from my associates in terms of dealing with situations and people than I learned from textbooks.

3. Develop Your Language I found my listening and speaking skills are getting better and better as I work with native speakers every day. So you will do better as you get into it. Just take your time.

Please be patient. I have to admit that language barrier to international students is still the number one difficulty to work in this country, and sometimes it does take more time to let native speakers to understand you.

4. Expect the Unexpected
Definitely there are highs and lows at your job. Sometimes the guest can dump all his emotions to you but you may have nothing to do with it.

Working for hospitality industry requires us to be ready to deal with any unexpected issues, and personal skills to show your empathy and your genuine care to people.

5. Do an International Internship My mentor is EE&CS director Maureen Dumas. She saw my freshman resume and realized that I had no work experience at all.

She connected me to JW Marriott in Shanghai for a short-term internship while I was taking my summer vacation. Though it was only a 3-week period at that hotel, I was able to get cross-training within front office.

It was a valuable experience for a career newbie to build better understanding of the industry I decide to work for.

Want to see the world through hospitality? Explore our Hospitality majors.

Marriott Intern Recognized for Excellent Service

Xiao’s hotel internship takes her from China to Providence to New Orleans — with an award nomination along the way. read more