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Banqueting supervisor in Sydney

Hotel and Event Management student Aranka Bos wanted an adventure and left for her work placement to one of the youngest metropolises: Sydney. She became a banquet supervisor apprentice in the luxury five-star Sofitel Wentworth Sydney and is having such a good time that she does not want to go back to the Netherlands. An interview with Aranka, who feels at home on the other side of the world.

Aranka: “When I heard about the work placement op­portunities in Sydney, I became more and more enthu­siastic. I heard great work placement stories about Aus­tralia and the laid-back culture appealed to me as well. At Sofitel I was allowed to work in different departments and also as a supervisor during my three months’ work placement. Moreover I wanted an adventure. You do not get the chance to travel to another continent and another culture that often. My English language skills improved here as well and it is also a good item on my resume. So for me it is perfect in every aspect!”

Hotels and weddings

“Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is part of an international five star hotel chain that has its own brand: ‘Luxury Hotels’, but it is also part of the Accor hotel group. The Sofitel Wentworth Sydney has 436 guest rooms - including 46 suites - and thirteen different conference rooms. There is a VIP area, two restaurants, a hairdresser and a gym. Sofitel Sydney Wentworth also has the possibility to organize large weddings, something I find very attrac­tive.“

Banqueting Supervisor

“I wanted a work placement in either the hospital­ity or event business, but I did not know which department I would end up in. I prepared the telephone interview with Sofitel well in advance. Within one week after the interview I was called back and asked if I want­ed to do an work placement at the Sofitel Sydney Went­worth and I said ‘yes’ straight away. Eventually I ended up in the marketing & sales department of which the ban­queting and event department is a part. Exactly what I wanted! In the first week, I got to know the hotel, I did set-ups for large and small conferences and learned all the ins and outs of things like VIPs, Kosher food and weddings. In my third week I started working as supervisor of the banqueting department. I manage my team members, together with the organizer of the event I make sure everything goes well and I solve any problem that may arise.“

Training

“The best part of my work placement is that I always get a new challenge. So far no day has been the same. This is partly due to the Sofitel training program. In this all my requests are answered but also the things Sofitel expects of me are emphasised. They monitor the number of hours you work and if you work overtime, they give you a day off. There are also free staff meals. When Celtic, a famous Scottish football club, spent a week in the hotel, I was responsible for them as a supervisor. I not only made sure that breakfast, lunch and dinner were arranged, but also that the laundry was brought to the rooms on time and that the taxis arrived in front of the hotel on time. VIP guests may change everything at the last minute, from their schedules to what they want for breakfast. Quite a challenge but I learned a lot in that week. What I do find difficult is to understand the many English accents of the Australian people and of other foreigners.“

Living in Sydney

“Now that I live and work in Sydney I do not really want to go home. I like my work very much, even more than in the Netherlands. Living in Sydney is very expensive. Shopping and entertainment cost almost twice as much as in the Netherlands. But on the other hand it is fabulous to live and work in the youngest metropolis. From where I live I can go to the surf beach in just 10 minutes. There is so much to see and do and there are so many challenges to keep me occupied for years to come. What I also like is the Australian mentality. “No worries mate”, it’s really the way of life here!“

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