BY DR. CHUCK KELLEY — Outrigger has been providing summer employment to young adults for several generations. Over the years, this tradition of informal summer work has evolved into a top-notch internship program that gives its lucky student participants invaluable hands-on knowledge of the hospitality industry.
This year, we were once again delighted to select eight highly qualified and motivated students for the Outrigger Summer Internship Program. At the start, the way a hotel functions was a mystery to all eight. But after six weeks of rotating through departments and with duties that included handling baggage in the bell department, checking in guests at the front desk, cleaning rooms with the housekeepers and fixing things with the maintenance department, they all developed an excellent basic understanding of the business.
Each Friday, the interns broke away from operations and enjoyed an additional educational opportunity – spending lunchtime with an Outrigger executive who talked about his or her life experiences and discussed potential career paths in the industry.
As in previous years, the interns were also assigned a hands-on research project. First they learned how hotel companies like Outrigger obtain feedback from guests. They then designed their own survey questions and personally asked guests about the extent to which we were living up to expectations. After spending time with our guests, they put together lots of first-hand information and summarized the results. On the final day, they presented their findings to a large group of Outrigger team members.
Every student completing the program is to be congratulated, as they worked hard and learned a great deal. The many Outrigger hosts who pitched in and helped make this year’s program a huge success deserve a great “Mahalo.” We are all proud to offer a program that fits so well into The Outrigger Way (Ke Ano Waa) and especially the core value Ao – To Learn and To Share.