BY NIEL MASON — “So, how much do you get paid?” Don’t you just love the frankness of an inquisitive high school student?
Waipahu High School Academy of Hospitality and Tourism students Abigail Badua, Christian Ramoran and Kathleen Samoy openly posed questions to OHANA Waikiki East’s Suzanne Lee (front office manager), Denise Torres (guest services manager), Kimo Miguel (maintenance manager) and Joselyn Valenzuela (assistance executive housekeeper) as part of a Job Shadow Day program for high school students on O‘ahu. The program is a partnership of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Junior Achievement Hawaii (JA) and the Department of Education (DOE).
“How has the hotel industry changed over the years?” was handled expertly by Kimo Miguel (maintenance manager) who said, “Guest expectations have changed, so we have to change.”
As Kimo answered, “How do you handle an unhappy guest?” the students settled in, ready for a day of learning.
They began their journey at our housekeeping briefing and warmed up with our housekeepers doing exercises to prevent injury. They then spent the morning rotating between housekeeping, maintenance, front desk and bell desk. Suzanne, Denise, Kimo and Joselyn hosted them for lunch while sharing stories and answering hospitality industry-related questions.
Groundhog Shadow Day is part of a national campaign that gives young people a new perspective on their studies through hands-on learning and a one-day mentoring experience. We feel confident our future is in good hands with these enthusiastic and willing learners.
Oh, and the response from Kimo? “Listen, be understanding and don’t argue. If that doesn’t work, send them to the GM.”