By Dr. Chuck Kelley, Pila Hanson and Chad Teramae
To Learn and To Share (A‘o), one of the values on which The Outrigger Way (Ke ‘Ano Wa‘a) is built, is about creating opportunities for learning leading to individual and organizational growth. In pursuit of A‘o, we not only provide our own employees with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, but also provide opportunities for students and other professionals to learn more about the hospitality industry.
This year, in keeping with this core value, we were fortunate to host three internship programs: the Outrigger Summer Internship Program, the Waipahu High School Academy of Hospitality and Tourism’s (WHS AOHT) Pilot Mentor Program, and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) Stacy Nishina Teacher Internship Program.
Outrigger Summer Internship Program
This year Outrigger selected 13 high school and college students to participate in our annual Summer Internship Program. Many outstanding students applied last spring and those chosen came from a variety of schools: Waipahu High School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, Leilehua High School, New York University, the University of Washington, University of San Francisco, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and Hawai‘i Pacific University.
At the start of their six-week internships, participants were assigned to a Waikīkī property where they were then rotated through the hotel’s departments. With the nurturing assistance of our staff, they welcomed guests at the Front Desk, moved bags in the Bell Department, fixed things with Maintenance and cleaned rooms with Housekeeping! Every Friday they broke away from operations to have a special lunch with a senior Outrigger executive to discuss his or her life experiences and potential career paths.
As in previous years, the interns were also assigned a research project. This year they were asked to research the state’s growing homelessness problem, with particular focus on how it affects the hospitality industry. The interns were then required to write a letter to one of their city or state government representatives explaining their point of view and offering suggestions on how to improve the situation. These letters were then presented at the final Intern Luncheon to a room full of executives and managers. Every student did a fabulous job.
We would like to thank these interns for a job well done and wish them every success in the future: Alexis Allen, Kylie Chun, Justine Fiesta, Deborah Ginting, Tim Loiseau, Deidreana Maluyo-Gilman, Lindsey Mau, Parker Murakami, Thanh Nguyen, Melissa Ong, Hannah Rumbaoa, Jomari Salud and Shelby Schaab.
Waipahu High School Academy of Hospitality and Tourism’s Pilot Mentor Program
For over 12 years, Outrigger has worked closely with Waipahu High School’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (WHS AOHT), providing internships and other learning opportunities for motivated students. This summer, AOHT Director (and teacher) Todd Nakayama invited Outrigger to participate in a pilot Mentorship Program. The program paired AOHT students with Outrigger managers, exposing the students to the inner workings of a hotel. Mentors spent quality time with students discussing career paths, job roles and responsibilities, and emerging industry issues. The pilot program lasted six months and after many meetings and project assignments, we can call it a great success! Thanks to Outrigger’s support, Waipahu High School will now be able to extend its Mentorship Program to other companies as well. A big mahalo to Robert McConnell and Shae Gallardo at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, who volunteered to pilot this program, along with Waipahu High School’s Jomari Salud, Justine Fiesta and Joyce Ermita.
HSTA Stacy Nishina Teacher Internship Program
For the fourth summer in a row, Outrigger also participated in the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) Stacy Nishina Teacher Internship Program, a partnership between the Hawai‘i Business Roundtable, the state Department of Education and HSTA. The program seeks to improve teaching effectiveness by exposing public school teachers to “real-life business cultures, values and work experiences … to create teaching that is rigorous and relevant.” This year we were fortunate to host nine teachers: Megan Miura and Erin Shimomi from Kalihi Uka Elementary School, Nicole Cupp and Lisa Ebinger from Mililani Ike Elementary School, Tracey Matsui from Kipapa Elementary School, Michelle Kau from Radford High School, Alan Kinoshita from Leilehua High School, Corene Smith from Ilima Intermediate School and Natalie Sur from Olomana High & Intermediate School.
The teachers began their internship by spending time with Human Resources to learn about Outrigger’s culture, The Outrigger Way and Outrigger’s history not only here in Hawai‘i but also throughout Asia and the Pacific. They then moved into Operations, learning firsthand how our hotels operate and how The Outrigger Way works in practice every day. Outrigger is honored to participate in this great program and we look forward to working with Hawai‘i’s teachers again next summer!
Whether it’s members of our own ‘ohana, students or teachers, Outrigger is proud to share learning (A‘o) with our community.