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Upon completion of their internship, students have to present their work experience with creative boards and hotel fact sheets to be evaluated by their teachers.
This fair is above all a competition between students to see who will have the most original and beautiful display.
We can feel an exciting atmosphere in Les Roches on the day of the internship fair: students running around with boards, pictures and sculptures. The presentation room looks like a travel agency where everyone can choose the next holiday destination. However, on the academic side, this is a very important part of the school’s curriculum. Students are judged on the originality of their display, the professionalism when explaining their experience, and the hotel fact sheet they produce.
The winners receive a voucher for a meal at the EDO restaurant, a Japanese venue opened by Les Roches Alumni in Bluche. “It’s a good occasion for students to reflect on what they were doing during their internship and to share their learning experience with everybody” explains Professor Bernadette McGlade, in charge of the fair for the last 4 years.
“It’s a real buzz, 62 students and 18 teachers in the same room, in addition to other inquisitive students. It’s seems that they get better every year; the amount of time they take to do their display is incredible. They do 3D effects now!” says Dr. Jones, one of the teachers in charge.
“Give me your hand” says winner Michael from Switzerland, putting wonderfully scented oils on people’s hands. “This is how it smells when you arrive in Bora Bora”. From his internship in the wonderful Intercontinental Le Moana resort in the French Polynesia, Mick’s eyes are still sparkling as he speaks about his experience. He took 7 hours to prepare his display, even bringing the Tahitian uniforms he was wearing, and another 3 hours to do his own movie on the resort. It’s a well deserved 1st price for the Swiss student who was really able to communicate his experience to his audience. Second prize winner, Sarah, was in Carcassonne in Hotel de La Cité. At her stand, a sugar sculpture of the hotel castle attracts the eye instantly. “I took four hours to do the sugar sculpture”.
In addition, the sign “Please feel free to ask questions” is explained by the student: “I know my hotel and I have a lot to say about its history and I don’t want people to pass by without asking”.
“I am really impressed by the attention to detail the students show. Talking to them, you can almost smell the food, the ambiance, you have the feeling that you are in the restaurant or hotel they worked in” comments Wolf Gerstkamp, one of the teachers present at the fair.
Florian, a German student, spent his 6 months at the Villa Padierna in Marbella as one of the main concierges. “I had to organize Michelle Obama’s excursions when she was staying at the hotel. I was directly in touch with the event leader of the White House in Washington!”
The internship plays a very important part in the Les Roches curriculum. It allows students to use the theoretical and practical knowledge acquired in the school and apply their skills to workplace practices and environments in the industry. It also gives them the opportunity to develop skills for teamwork, self-management, decision-making, problem solving and managing stress.