Sabine works in a luxurious five-star hotel on Mauritius
Hanze University offers many opportunities to study and do internships abroad. Third-year Facility Management student Sabine Schoen is doing her internship on the island of Mauritius, one of the new locations students can choose from. She is responsible for marketing and quality management at a luxurious five-star hotel.
‘I was looking for an internship of five months that has to be completed in relation to my third year of study. The internship had to be in any management field, as the study I am doing covers all management aspects. I particularly wanted to work with children, as in the past I have had a lot of experience with kids, organizing events, or do something in a hotel due to the fact that my study abroad is focused on the hospitality industry.’
What do you do exactly?
‘My internship is divided into two parts. The first two months I spent in the marketing department. This part of the hotel business in Mauritius is really interesting. The hotels here work in connection with tour operators. The hotel provides different rates in relation to the country in which the hotel rooms are being offered. I was mostly responsible for contracting, eductours, making sure the information on the brochure was correct, and so on. Later on I will also be involved in quality management.’
How do you like Mauritius?
‘The island of Mauritius is incredible in many ways. Not only is the nature amazing and rich. The people have a sense of friendliness and kindness which I have never seen anywhere else. Another exceptional thing is that all the cultures, from Hindu to Catholic to Islamic mingle and respect each other, which in my eyes is worth more than gold.’
What are the biggest differences between working in the Netherlands and here?
‘As an intern, you are treated as a real employee. You are given true responsibilities. You are not treated as a trainee, but as part of the team. Another element is that they take into account that your knowledge is more advanced due to the higher educational standard of Europe compared with Mauritius. Therefore your recommendations and qualities are respected and used accordingly.’
What is your best work experience so far?
‘The most amazing thing work-wise is actually everything I have done in the marketing department. They gave me so much confidence that I even consider doing more marketing in my career. Another amazing aspect was that I was allowed to host an eductour, a group of product managers and directors coming to visit hotels to offer hotel rooms in their home country later on. These people own tour operators or holiday organising companies. This is a great experience because you need to impress the hosts to the max, so that they leave the hotel thinking ‘I want to offer rooms from that hotel only’. It was the first Dutch eductour in Mauritius. So it came as a great compliment that the general manager thought I was capable of taking such a responsibility.’
What do you do in your free time?
‘In my free time I feel like I am on holiday due to the amazing location and great beaches. For the rest we party with the friendly and open locals untill early in the morning. It is great because drinks are cheap. We also rent cars and do sight seeing and adventure trips.’