My master of hospitality knowledge
Back to the roots – I never expected the day, when I would come back to my high school in the role of expert and a member of jury in inter-province competition of hospitality knowledge. The day has come. I had the pleasure after 13 years to meet again teachers, who shared with me their passion. Believe me I did not notice that when I was still a student of ZSP 1 in Slupsk, but really appreciated it when I started my professional journey. In the hotel I felt totally natural, because I was equipped with valuable knowledge, giving me a huge potential to grow and become a great hotelier. I think I learned my lesson, and I am on the best way to use the potential. It was amazing experience to be welcomed by the School Principals, City Authorities and local Professionals. I am not a shy person but definitely humble enough to feel embarrassed with so much kindness and attention. I would like to express my gratitude for so warm welcome. The story will get more interesting, when I’ll tell you that 13 years ago I did not leave the school alone. I met there a girl who I married after few years, and who also is very successful hotel professional J We have been there together this time as well, and we both experienced so much positive energy and got so much new inspiration to continue making the hospitality world better.
But to the point. The competition was about the youngest talents and the future leaders, and I need to tell you how it was. There were 20 participants representing 10 schools of Pomeranian and West-Pomeranian province, and tell me why I am not surprised that in between of 19 ladies there was only 1 man (when I was a student, the gender balance in our class was also one of the nicest things J). There were two stages in two days. First day participants had to perform a self-presentation in front of Jury, Guests and audience of maybe 150 other students. I believe it was a huge challenge, and definitely the stress had a significant influence on the result. All participants did a very good job, but I could already see whose personality will open the door of hospitality career, much easier than others. The same day participants took a test of base hospitality knowledge, including few questions regarding present situation in the industry. At end of the day, summary of collected points showed 11 semifinalists for the second stage of contest.
The day two started with a restaurant guests service. This part was probably a bit too long and tiring for participants. The task was to serve a couple of Guests since entrance, through making order, serving with use of right technique, china glass and cutlery, up to paying the bill. Again we were scoring job organization, knowledge, attitude, ability to provide a conversation, willingness to offer/sell the menu, and personality.
I couldn’t wait the next task, which was solving a problem and conversation in English with a Guests at the front desk. As previously, all ladies (the man didn’t make it to the semifinal) where presenting very high level, but my senses were rally spoiled only several times by different contestants. I knew my top 4, but we needed to count scores of whole Jury.
I was very happy to have a chance to summarize the Jury observations and announce the winners. Thanks to the sponsors (Sound Garden Hotel Airport Warsaw / Hotel Grand Lubicz Uzdrowisko Ustka / Qubus Hotel Gdańsk) we could decorate four finalists (and of course I cannot tell if they cover my tops):
I – Daria Rodziewicz – Zespół Szkół Ponadgimnazjalnych nr 1 w Słupsku
II – Weronika Samol – Zespół Szkół Hotelarsko – Gastronomicznych w Gdyni
III – Kamila Szklarska – Zespół Szkół Hotelarsko – Gastronomicznych w Gdyni
IV – Oliwia Basiak – Zespół Szkół Ponadgimnazjalnych nr 1 w Słupsku
The Jury voted for additional prize for Personality of the competition, which by unanimous decision went again to Weronika Samol. I am very happy that very soon I will have the chance to meet the Winner – Daria Rodziewicz, and the Personality – Weronika Samol, to share with them knowledge and experience of whole #SoundTeam during a mothly internship at Sound Garden Hotel. Ladies I hope your families and friends welcomed you home with champagne, and at least as great as I was hosted by Zespół Szkół Ponadgimnazjalnych nr 1 w Słupsku and Grand Lubicz Hotel Uzdrowisko Ustka.
Management of the hotel hosted the second stage of competition, as well as all participants and school representatives, showing them the highest level of service. I’m sure that the experience of hospitality by Grand Lubicz Hotel, was for the participants a fantastic example of best practice, and great inspiration – a key word to describe the whole sense the event.
See you next year 🙂
PS. Sound Garden Hotel Airport and Grand Lubicz Uzdrowisko Ustka are members of AICR Polska.
PS. 2. Picture on the main prize voucher – Tatiana Korobenko, member of #SoundTeam:) and participant of first in Poland competition for Receptionist of the year 2016 by AICR.
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