Hello Vinay, pleasure to see you here. Tell us something about yourself.
Vinay: I’m a happy go lucky person. Born & brought up in Chandigarh. In my childhood days I used to help my parents with the kitchen garden work. I used to help my mother in kitchen work like preparing salad & pickling. I did my schooling till 10th standard from Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh. During that time I had built a keen interest in cooking so I chose to do +1 & +2 from vocational stream in Hotel Management from GMSSS Sector 10, Chandigarh. I also got the opportunity to work as a vocational trainee at a 5 star property in Chandigarh at that time. Having built a keen interest in hotel industry I decided to become a Chef. I started preparing for the all India JEE exam & secured a good rank. I’m currently perusing B.Sc in Hospitality & Hotel Administration from Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management, Chandigarh. I love cooking, traveling , photography, listening music, motorsports and camping. Trance & progressive music interests me a lot.
IF: Which training you got the chance to take? What is it all about? Stipend and duration?
Vinay: Industrial training is a part of the B.Sc in Hospitality & Hotel Administration program. B.Sc is a 3 years (6 semesters) program out of which 1 semester of 2nd year is entirely dedicated for internship. I did internship from Pullman Gurgaon Central Park. Pullman is a brand of Accor. It is a 5 star business property in Gurgaon. Stipend was Rs. 2000 per month. Duration was 5 months.
InternFeel: How you came to know about the internship? Generally what was your way of being in touch with the media to get the information about the various internships?
Vinay: I came to know about the training from my seniors & professors in college. Internet is the best source to gain information.
IF: How much competitive is the selection process? What things you feel are looked for in the applicant by the selectors?
Vinay: Selection is based on interview. Hotels need interns. Always be on a lookout & keep applying. Keep a cover letter & CV ready. Just be yourself & confident at the time of interview. Your communication skills & the way you express yourself are also very important. Knowledge also matters a lot.
IF: What qualities of yours – educational / otherwise, you feel helped you in having an edge over the selection process?
Vinay: I was able to communicate & express myself in a very well manner. Interviewer liked my hobbies & interests as well.
IF: Approximately when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Vinay: I got the selection news on the same day of the interview. Just a few hours after my interview. Not much of a celebration as I was alone in Gurgaon at that time. But yes, felt happy & elated.
IF: What all preparations you did before joining and after the results?
Vinay: Not much of preparations. I was busy with my semester exams just before my internship started. I took my accommodation nearby because I knew about the longer working hours at the hotel and to save commuting time.
IF: Any common mistakes which you feel students should avoid while searching and applying for internships?
Vinay: Don’t waste time. Keep a cover letter & CV ready. Always be on a lookout & keep applying. Always be in touch with your seniors & professors. Specially those who have already done or are doing their internships.
IF: Okay Vinay, tell us a bit more about work you carried out in the internship.
Vinay: I got to work in all 4 departments of the hotel and got a great exposure of this industry. It was a great experience. I worked like an associate. Kitchen: I worked in live kitchen where I came in direct contact with the guests. This gave me an opportunity to interact with them. It also helped me in polishing my showmanship skills. Front Office: I used to welcome guests and escort them to guest rooms at the time of check in. I’ve done everything from working as a Bell boy to a Velet parking attendant. F&B Service: Here I worked in Private Dining (Room Service) I used to set up the food trolley on my own. Get the order prepared & take it to the guest rooms. I used to do the clearance as well. Housekeeping: Cleaning guest rooms to changing curtains and carpet shampooing. I’ve done everything.
IF: What was the best thing about the work culture and the internship? What all things you liked there?
Vinay: Best thing was working with professionals. It’s a great place to work. I liked everything. It really feels good to work in a new attitude hotel. I mean who else has Teppanyaki Ice Cream, Duck oven & live pizza oven in the entire Delhi NCR. Work timings: There are shifts. Morning, Afternoon, Night & Break. 12 hours minimum.
IF: What problems you or your friends faced, during the internship, which your juniors may be able to avoid? Food and accommodation?
Vinay: It’s simple. Either you work hard now or you work hard rest of your life. Don’t run away from work. Do it and explore your capability. Once they notice they will start giving you responsibilities. My friends who don’t have interest in this industry ended up working like Donkeys. Hotel cafeteria’s food is good. Accommodation should be taken nearby to minimise the commuting time.
IF: As with almost everything, what were the cons of the internship? The elements which you felt, if wasn’t there could have made this internship super awesome?
Vinay: It would have been super awesome if I got to work in the kitchen department for the entire 5 months as I have interest in cooking.
IF: Were there any special events during the internships which you would like to share?
Vinay: Yes. I celebrated Christmas & New Year with other staff members at the hotel. There was a lavish buffet lunch on Holi as well. The hotel also gave the interns farewell party when the internship ended.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from your intern institute administration.
Vinay: No guide. No support. This is a help yourself world. The training manager was good. The training supervisor was good as well.
IF: Any special experience which you had during this period, which you would like to share with us.
Vinay: I almost had a new experience daily. Once a girl made an Instagram video of me preparing Teppanyaki ice cream. Which really made my day. Long stayers used to come back again & again & I knew about their taste what they liked.
IF: To whom all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Vinay: I would like to thank myself, my parents, everyone who helped me and everyone at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park.
IF: How much difference this period of 5 months made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what are your gains from this?
Vinay: A lot. This period of 5 months has given me a great experience. It has changed my whole mindset. I’ve gained a lot. It has changed me a lot from what I was before.
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be?
Vinay: Great initiative! You guys are doing a great job by helping others.
IF: So Vinay, we are at the end of the interview. From the entire team of nternFeel, we thank you for taking out your time and sharing your experiences for everyone and we wish you best of luck for all your future endeavors.
Vinay: It has been wonderful interacting with you. Thank you.