Elsemiek de Kreek
Practical Placement, Food & Beverage
Boutique Hotel I-31, Berlin, Germany
“Placement is a time to discover another country, what full-time work is like, the cultural differences, new people and sometimes even a time to discover yourself.”
Placement is a time to discover another country, what full-time work is like, the cultural differences, new people and sometimes even a time to discover yourself.
The country I was going to discover was Germany as I got the opportunity to do my internship in Berlin. It is an amazing city, which is the ‘greenest’ capital in Europe, rich in history and very international.
The city boasts 777 establishments for visitors to choose from and I discovered one of them, namely Boutique Hotel I-31 (VisitBerlin, 2016). This is a 4 star hotel located in the heart of Berlin. I started to work full-time in the breakfast department in which I was setting up the breakfast buffet and served coffee and tea to the guests. Halfway my placement I aimed for a new challenge and I started to discover the tasks and responsibilities at the bar while working in this department.
Regarding discovering the cultural differences, the only difference for me was the language as the only words I knew in German were ‘Danke schön’ and ‘guten Morgen’ (thank you and good morning). Luckily, after writing my own dictionary and getting help from the team members, I discovered that learning a new language within 5 months was something I could do.
Talking about the team, the staff members are very open and always willing to help other employees as well as the guests. They made me feel at home from the first until the last day.
Besides learning at the hotel, I have discovered a lot about myself and other cultures while being at home. During the placement I lived in a building with 150 students from all over the world. I have met an amazing group of people with whom I shared stories and experiences and had a lot of fun. The most important thing I discovered while hanging out with this group is, that we need to be more thankful for the smaller things in life and we should not take everything for granted.
I am thankful to look back at a Placement full of new discoveries and most important a lot of fun. If I would have the opportunity to experience it all over again, I would definitely take it!!