Our trip to Holland for the on the job training for 6 weeks is now over and we came back to Finland on May first safely and full of the great different experiences! And we are very thankful and proud of our selves with the way we started and completed our on the job training abroad! So here we are going to add some pictures from Holland taken with a few days ago 😉
So I was making my internship in Spain school named Onspain at 16.3-10.5.2015. My school in Finland have contact in Spain so they help me to get this place. So after we had choose that I`am going there we made all those paper works.
I made my last and fourth internship from school in a beautiful old hotel Reina Cristina in the city of Algeciras, located in south Spain. I was working in the reception from February 11th until the middle of May.
In hotel Reina Cristina they have about 180 rooms, in three floors with different views. There is also inside and outside pools, lobby -and pool bar and also two conference rooms. The whole hotel area is one big garden and its a great area to organize for example weddings. We had many weddings and other celebrations.
When I got this place for my internship, I thought long time that I was going to leave to city called Cadiz, cause Algeciras is a part of province of Cadiz and in the address of hotel I saw just Cadiz. Just some weeks before I left to Spain I was looking the map more specifically and noticed that I am leaving to city called Algeciras. Started to find information from internet about the city but I didnt find much.
When I got there, the city didnt seem too much living but with more time I started to like it. Is very different city that I have never been with harbor and not a lot of tourism. The tourism in Algeciras is based on people who stay there for maybe one night before they take a ferry to Morocco.
From Algeciras you cant move easily to other places, Gibraltar is very close its opposite of a port of Algeciras and you can see the rock all the time. Also in Algeciras there is good bus and train connections for example Cadiz, Sevilla, Ronda, Tarifa, Marbella, Malaga..
Algeciras is very near to Africa and its very easy to get there, you just go the port of Tarifa and take a ferry from there and it arrives to Morocco in one hour.
I liked the nature of Algeciras and the big moutains that surrounded the area.
When I arrived to Malaga in February, Julie from the hotel was there and picked me up and we left driving to Algeciras, by car it took about 1,5 hour.
Arrived to the hotel, and next day we left to get NIE number for me so I can start working. We went to couple offices and bank to register my informations and I got the number. Same day I started working. My working clothes was a skirt, shirt, jacket and a tie with the logo of the company Hoteles Globales.
I was working always in the morning or in the afternoon, I didnt have night shifts. Morning shift was from 8-16 and afternoon from 14-22.
The first month I lived in very small room at the hotel, but after one month I just didnt fit in anymore with all of my property so I changed to one bigger room at the hotel.
At work everything went well, I didnt have any big issues. Couple of times in the start was hard situations with the local clients if I didnt understand their Spanish good and they didnt speak English. But later I started understood what they wanted and was able to serve with them too. Some of the local clients was reacted friendly and sympathetically when I told I speak little bit Spanish, but some of them was surprised and wondered how is possible that I work in the reception and not speaking perfectly Spanish, which I totally understood.
Most of the clients at the hotel were from UK or from Spain. After them there were clients from Germany, Portugal, Italy, USA and Scandinavians. Clients from Finland I met maybe 5-6 times.
Most of the clients were people that have already retired and was looking for a beautiful nice and quiet place for relax at their holidays.
In the end of April the hotel was totally full, we had a teams playing handball at the hotel. Kids were ages 8-16. At that time we get many appeals cause the kids were very noisy in the rooms and all the areas of the hotel. Those times we called the mechanic working in the hotel to go and tell them to be more quiet..
In the hotel we had also many loyalty customers that keeps coming to the hotel couple of times in a year, year after year. They love the style of Reina Cristina and like to visit Gibraltar often cause its near.
From this internship I learned of course the Spanish culture and to understand how are Spanish people. Also some Spanish language which will be helpful in the future travelling there. Of course was developing my English too and I got a lot of compliments of it which was very nice.
After all I had a great and instructive time at Spain and I am very happy for this experience! 🙂
Here is a link to one video that is telling about the city of Algeciras, and in time 3 minutes there is filmed the hotel I was. There is Sara, the event producer and Francisco, the Manager of the hotel and they are telling that the hotel is oldest in Costa Del Sol and that in Algeciras there is very old and relevant railway station.
Also in the video you can see the nature that I was talking about before. Just before 3 minutes in the video, there is a part where the girl is telling that from there you can see Morocco, Ceuta and Gibraltar!
From the video (time before 1 minute) you can also see some parts about Paco de Lucia. He was one of the most significant flamenco guitarist of all time, he is from Algeciras and people are very proud of him. He died of February 2014 and in the city you can see memorial things for him. When was gone one year of his death, there was a huge memorial event in the centre. The sister of Paco de Lucia was staying in Reina Cristina with her family at that time.
They are filming also the port of Algeciras, which is getting bigger and bigger.
And much more!
Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZlozLhyL20
Weather was most of the time like this, sunshine and a little wind, just perfect!I was waiting for it a looong time. We were supposed to go already in autumn 2014 but it was too late to start all that paper work so we decided with Johanna that we want to go on spring there. It was good decision because there wasn’t so hot as I think at the autumn would’ve been. It was warm yes. It was just right tempature. There was raining about two times in 2 months! I’m jealous!
So when we did get there they welcomed us warmly! We were both ill, snig fly and my voice was so down it sounded like males voice 😀 that was pretty awkward!! After finally we get to our apartment, after visiting Spar(-market) we went to sleep and slept over 17 hours straight ;D Our work was supposed to start 12.6 so we had almost week like a vacation.
I started my first workday alone at 9… It was scary but somehow I was part of group already when Johanna came to work at 13.. They were so nice and kind for us and they were excellent teachers! So patient..
What I did there:
- Customer service,when client came to reseption I asked can I help, if i could help, I did what I could and if not I asked to wait a moment and asked for somebody else to help the client.
- Room keycards didnt always worked so I needed to proces them again. I did that many times at the day. I explained to client whats wrong with it.
- I made the carton papers which included; name, arrival and departure dates, wifi-code, paper where was everything about the restaurant timetables and cleaning services, snack bars times and everything about the hotel.
- Sometimes the lady from the Spa called to reception that they need someone to look after the Spa reception when she goes to eat. So me or Jossu went to there to sit like half an hour or one hour. There wasnt customers much, only couple times someone came out of the gym and I needed to take 2 euros and one time a lady wanted to do a massage order.
Our day off’s were only bad thing in there. We both had not much day offs at the same times .. But I understand that because of course they need one of us there when other is off. When I had day off, I liked to go to the beach and shopping and sometimes I relaxed in a bar and talking with my friends in whatsapp if there was a wifi. I liked to eat out. There was such a good foods and so cheap!! I was shocked when I was back in finland and went so s market and couple things was something like 11€ I was like I could buy so many else things there in this price… But i got to used to this even its hard 😀
Next to the Mogan Valle was hotel named Mogan Playa. There was a nice girl as a trainee, about my age. Her name is Elena and she is from Germany. We got to know each others because she lived at the apartment near by us and she was always in the same bus-stop. She speak very good spanish and she wanted to help us with the police station because polices doesnt speak english in there. At least that much that we could got our NIE numbers. (By the way, we got our NIEs last week there ;D But we also got money last day because they had some problems with that. I dont know but it doesnt matter anymore.
What I think I learned in Gran Canaria:
- Definitely more english. I learned that it doesnt matter if I cant say/spell it perfectly like people who speak it as mother language. People do understand me.
- I learned how to talk to strangers, you dont need to know the people who you talking to. (I went to talk to strangers in finland and I was surprised that they didnt act like I expected…wow)
- Everything is not so serious, you can relax and just be, no need to do something all the time. I can go to sleep later and still be good mood in the morning (ok i dont know if its working in here….)
- No need to rush everywhere. If the bus is coming in five minutes, its ok to stay and wait the next one. (except if your going to work)
- I learned that whatever I am gonna work, I will not be a receptionist. Theres nothing bad to say about that job, but I just feel inside that it is not my job. Theres something what doesnt work for me.
- I learned a littlepit spanish. Example: Hola! Que tal? Muy bien, tú? Gracias! De nada! Lo siento, no habla español. Puedo ir a comer? Sí, No… I think I did good job there. Of course I have to do always better and better but when we know that this was my first time job where my collegas does not speak same language, and I am far away from home etc., I really did what I could. I just need to do and do and do more and more that I give 100% of myself f work.
It was heartbreaking to leave that place but I have a plan to go back to Spain, I just dont know exactly where! 😉
We started our little trip on 2nd of March. We spent a week in Helsinki at our friends place. At 6th was our flight. Our flight was from Helsinki to London, and from London to Las Palmas. When we arrived in Las Palmas, we took a bus, first to the Playa de Cura and from there to Puerto de Mogan. Actually i was kinda suprised about the cheap prices of buses. I think it was about 6 or 7 euros or something. After we arrived to Puerto de Mogan we went straight to the our hotel. There we met our colleague Fernando who told us how we get to our place. It was kinda complicated, because they didn’t have the correct adress. But finally they called us a taxi and we finally got there. So, that was our first night in Gran Canaria.
On our second day, we slept very late. Then we went to look around our new hometown. Actually our biggest problem on first week was to find a bus stop. On our last week we were wondering that how was it so hard to find in a small village like Mogan. But in few days everything realy went okay. We had a one week holiday before we started to work. That week went really fast! Mostly at the beach and just wondering around.
My first day at work was from 1pm to 9pm and it went really fast. I don’t remember much about it, but they really didn’t let us do anything on our first day so it was mostly just watching what they were doing. On our first week we learned to make keycards, check ins and check outs. And we also learned some spanish words too. Sometimes working there was really stressy. Atleast when there was only spanish guests, but i think it was a good way to learn to handle stress. Mostly there was guests from German, Norway and England.
I really liked our colleagues. There was Irene from Norway, Simona, Heike, Marina, Linda, Fernando, Silva and Octavio. They were really nice and friendly. And also patient. Of course they helped us in everything we needed, but they also wanted to make us feel comfortable and that we are welcome there. I also made one check-in al by myself and i think it was really scary because there is so much what we need to know and remember but it went quite ok.
This is the picture of our flight to London.
There was some “not so nice things” in our hotel too. For example there was two hotel manager, Marina and Heike. And there was some problems with the communication. One day i asked Marina that can i leave litte earlier because there was nothing to do. And i also told her that i can come some other day when there is more arrivals. She told me that i have to come on saturday. On saturday when i went to the hotel, Heike said that i don’t have to work and that i should go to the beach or something. Next day Marina asked me why i didn’t come to work on saturday so i told her that Heike said i don’t have to. And i think she got little upset about it.
But other than that everything went quite okay and we started to open up and even relax a little bit. On our last week at work, Silva told me that we shoud try to talk only spanish. It was really scary but fun.
Our job at the hotel was basically help others. We did the keycards, check ins, check-outs and helped them with the drinks and stuff like that. There was never a boring day and everyday was different and we learned something new.
I think i did pretty good, but there is still lot more to learn. Are colleagues told me that im very good with customers because im social and very open person. And i also think that the customers liked me too because of that.
I also wanted to make customers feel themselfes comfortable so i tried to talk with them as much as possible. For example i asked them that “how’s your day been?”. But im also really impatient sometimes. When something doesn’t happen right now, i get frustrated and lost my nerve. But what comes to professional ethics, everything went okay. I followed the rules fine and they never had to tell me that i have done something wrong.
But there is pretty much everything that i can tell you. I hope that this report is okay to you. I don’t know if there’s enough text.
I was on internship in Belgium Lommel 1.1.2015-28.2.2015. I worked in firm called Sec-Construction. They build motor homes and racing service trailers for racing teams. I was working with KTM new team truck. I drove there on my own car first to Turku. Then I went on ferry to Sweden. I drove through Sweden, Germany and Holland. I drove nearly 2000km by car alone and that was quite boring. In Belgium I stayed with Kimi Räikkönen´s team mechanic called Petteri. He was quite often away, so I was frequently alone in his house. Petteri spoke Finnish so it was easy to communicate and he helped and advised me. At work I was on weekdays and worked from 8am to 5pm on 9 hours shifts.
During my stay they were building KTM factory truck and most time I worked with it. My main job was to make floor to it. It was quite easy job, but it was a lot of time-consuming. That was actually my main work there but I also did some little things between it. Floor was made from aluminium plates. I cut of them first to size. Then plates were right size, I fitted them in truck and fixed in place. As after every work you need to clean up place and put all tools back on them place. I learned how to work on factory. It’s actually quite easy because every time you get exact and clear instructions. I also did many little things that my boss told me to do like putting some air on tires and vacuum indoors.
During my journey I developed my spontaneity and my English quite a lot. Then you live on your own, you need to plan your day what you need to do and then. I also practiced my orderliness. I need to develop my English more and because there was some new implements and all instructions were on English. Most of implements I understood how to use them but I also needed to ask some help because I wasn’t sure if I understood right.
Two months of being abroad encouraged my English quite a lot because you can`t speak Finnish there. In Belgium many can speak English quite well. I spoke English in shops, outdoors and work. At the first days speaking English feels weird but in a few days you get used to it and feels ordinary. At work owner of firm was Finnish so I also could speak Finnish with him. It helped in situations when you don`t understand something or don’t know how to say it on English. I also met his son and he was Finnish too. In spare time I hanged with him and we spoke Finnish to each other. He showed me some places around Belgium.
Due to Belgium language I learned to understand some Belgium but two months wasn’t enough to learn how to speak it. My English practiced well and I learned many new words due to trucks, engines and working slang.
I also had my motocross bike with me so I was able to train on my free time. In Belgium there is a lot nice motocross tracks. Motocross is very popular and there are many famous motocross riders.
Unfortunately weather during my stay wasn’t so good so I couldn’t train as much as I planned. I also planned to ride one local competition what was cancelled during bad weather.
Overall the trip was quite fun and instructive. I met many new people and my English progressed quite well.
Greetings from Ireland!
My work experience is over now.. I had my last work day on Friday, and Saturday we had my estimation conversation with my teachers and my boss, and I got the best grade which is 3 🙂 I have learn so much about working in restaurant here and I think the restaurant industry would be my second choice after tourism industry.. This has been the perfect journey for me, and it was the perfect ending for my three year education. But I still have three more days in Clonmel and Minella, and on Thursday I go to Dublin with my two workmates.. And on Friday I fly back to Finland, I can’t wait for that.. I’m gonna miss Clonmel and my friends here, but maybe someday I come back..