Stepping out of your comfort zone is no easy matter. Carina Wondollek is a trainee industrial clerk at a German company that deals with filter systems and water treatment for public pools. Through ADC College and the Internship Programme, she was given the opportunity to travel to Ireland to try out a whole new industry: hotel and tourism. Even though this business was new to her, Carina gave it her best shot and at the end of the placement, she received an outstanding reference from her manager. We asked her a few questions about her experience and what she has learnt from her time in Ireland.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Carina I am 23 years old. I live in a small city near Würzburg, Germany. I work as a trainee industrial clerk and went to Dublin in August to work in Maldron Hotel Smithfield.
What sparked your interest for tourism?
I like to meet new people and travel the world. In this business there is always the possibility to do this.
What was best moment of your trip?
The whole trip has been an adventure and I love adventures. I met many new people with whom I had the chance to explore Dublin. My lovely host family made it much easier for me to feel comfortable. My trip to the Ring of Kerry has been my personal highlight. I am in love with the breathtaking Irish landscape.
What was it like working at Maldron Hotel Smithfield?
Working at Maldron Hotel was a really great experience. I felt comfortable there and liked the job I was doing. My colleagues are so nice! I would go back and work there again.
What were your tasks?
I worked at the reservations office. I had to deal with reservations, cancellations and special guest requests. Opera was the name of the system I worked in.
Your supervisor gave you a very good reference. How do you think you achieved that?
You have a checklist for every day and there are a few tasks you have to finish by the end of the working day. You have to learn quickly - as an intern, it is your job to deal with all the tasks. I tried my best to do my job well. I was also motivated to learn new stuff and improve my language skills. The team is great, which made it easy to get along well!
How has this experience inspired you?
I really liked how openminded people are in Ireland. You were never scared to ask questions or strike up a conversation. I also liked seeing the difference in the way people lived and worked, compared to back home.
What have you learnt from the trip?
You always say “How are you?“, even if you don’t know the person!
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a new country?
Everything is new when you arrive. Some streets are more populated than my whole village. But step by step you become a citizen of Dublin.
What are your plans for the future?
First, I want to complete my apprenticeship. I would also like to do more internships in the future. There is so much to see in Ireland, I will come back for sure!
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
If you have the opportunity, you should take it. You won’t regret it. It is an experience you will never forget. Be openminded, always be friendly and explore as much as you can. And mind the gap!
Carina visited Dublin with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in London. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.