From Intern to Duty Manager

Last week we celebrated National Intern Day. We are thrilled to share a personal story of how an internship at Wild Dreams provided valuable insight into the industry and paved the way for an incredible career.

As a recruitment company deeply committed to nurturing talent and giving back to the hospitality and lodging industry, we take pride in investing time and effort into helping people, which is why we have chosen to take on an internship that facilitated growth and exposure for an intern’s future. In this blog, we will delve into the inspiring journey of one of our past interns, Alyssa, who started with us and eventually secured a job as a Duty Manager position at a renowned safari lodge. Join us as we explore how this internship experience became a stepping stone towards a new career in the lodging industry.

Can you tell us about your journey from being an intern at WD to becoming a Duty Manager at a Safari Lodge? How did the internship contribute to your career growth?

I was very lucky to be able to do my internship with WD. After my internship, I was offered a job as a General Assistant at a Safari Lodge. The skills and knowledge I gained from my internship allowed me to excel in my position as a General Assistant and I was soon promoted to Duty Manager.

What specific skills and experiences did you gain during your internship that prepared you for the Duty Manager position?

The skills that I gained would be being able to speak to clients/guests in a professional, but friendly manner. This allowed me to speak to guests in a way that makes me look professional and also makes guests comfortable when speaking to me. I experienced that many people have a difficult time understanding others which helped me to adjust the way I was speaking and the words that I used to assist guests when they do not understand.

How did your internship at WD help you better understand the hospitality industry and its unique challenges and opportunities?

During my internship, I would often go through the job requirements and responsibilities as well as the job description of the vacancies available. This helped me to understand what would be expected of me, had I been in those positions. I learned that there are many challenges when it comes to working in the hospitality industry, but growth opportunities also come with all the challenges.

What were some of the key responsibilities and tasks you handled as an intern? How did these responsibilities contribute to your professional development?

One of the responsibilities that I had was to do reference checks on candidates, I had to note down what the references were saying. This taught me to pay more attention to what people are saying and take in more information. I also had to transfer CVs onto the WD company template. This taught me to always be precise and look very carefully for information as it may be there, you are just looking in the wrong place.

Can you share any memorable experiences and challenges you faced during your internship?

My memorable experiences would be when I was able to meet with my mentor and learn from her, even when working remotely. Another memorable experience was when I was told that one of the candidates was chosen by the employer for the job that they applied for, that was an amazing feeling. A challenge that I experienced was contacting references as many people do not keep up to date with the contact details of their references.

How did your internship experience contribute to your knowledge and understanding of customer service? How do you apply those learnings in your current role as a Duty Manager?

During my internship, I had to communicate with other people to find out information about candidates. This taught me that professionalism is incredibly important but you also need to be friendly at the same time. In my current role as a Duty Manager, I work with clients/guests the entire day and sometimes there might be miscommunication down the line. When speaking in a professional and friendly manner, it often resolves the situation much quicker.

What advice would you give aspiring interns looking to turn their internships into successful career opportunities, just like you did?

Never give up. It may sometimes feel like you are getting nowhere, but all the hard work pays off. Always make sure you read the requirements and job description carefully and do not lie on your CV if you do not meet the requirements.

How did the internship at WD help you build valuable connections and networks within the industry? How have these connections supported your growth in your current role?

My internship allowed me to work with recruiters, which could very well help me in the future in my personal life, and my professional life. During my internship, I was assisted in creating/updating, my LinkedIn account, which gained the attention of industry professionals and Lodge Managers in the industry.

In what ways did your internship provide you with a glimpse into the responsibilities of a position within the safari lodge industry? How did this shape your decision to pursue a career in this field?

Being able to speak to people who know the responsibilities of a position within the Safari Lodge industry allowed me to learn a lot about what would be expected of me. This helped me pursue a career in this field by giving me all of the information I need. I initially wanted to go into the field because of my love for animals and this allows me to share this passion with people from all over the world who do not get to experience these animals every day.

What are some of the most important lessons you learned during your internship that have stayed with you throughout your career as a Duty Manager? 

One of the most important things that my internship taught me is to always be respectful of others and to be kind. You should always have patience with others, whether in your personal or professional life, as not all people are ready to climb out of their shells. When working with other staff members/colleagues, it is always important to help them in areas that they need help in, get to understand them to help them grow professionally and broaden their knowledge.

We are reminded of the power of internships in shaping the futures of aspiring professionals.

The story of our intern-turned-Duty Manager exemplifies the incredible potential that can be unlocked through dedicated mentorship and exposure to an industry. We have witnessed first-hand the impact of investing in an intern, and we are really proud to have played a role in helping someone open new doors into the lodging industry and help the find their dream job.