BBA Student Valerie Pretscher shares her experience working at the Hotel Sacher, one of Vienna’s most prestigious hotels:
”My internship at the Hotel Sacher Vienna started on July 1st as a telephone operator. The main task in this position was the forwarding of externally coming phone calls to corresponding departments. Secondary tasks included writing welcoming letters, email correspondence, taking care of the post, printing menus, and several more. The Front Office Manager’s intention was to give me time to get to know the hotel’s team and main operations rather than being immediately confronted with the guests in person. Applying this strategy was very useful to get used to the operations step by step.
After two weeks I started to work at the reception. With time the colleagues tried to make me familiar with day-to-day tasks. The most important thing I was taught was how to use the Opera reservations system correctly and in coherence with the standards of the hotel. I was trained how to set alerts and traces, how to update and merge profiles and finally how to do check-ins and check-outs according to the standards of Fine Hotels and Resorts. An important part was to properly welcome the guests and to show them around in the hotel and the room. I learned how to interact with the guests in the expected manner and to handle inconvenient situations with patience and calmness.
In addition, I performed administrative tasks such as checking the guests´ credit limit, preparing invoices to be sent to the accounting department or preparing the daily report for the night auditor. After about two weeks of working at the front desk, I felt that I could make positive contributions and that I was able to support my colleagues. Although there still were tasks I was not used to doing yet, I felt that the whole team very much appreciated my work.
As I already had a course at MU on the Opera reservations system, I could already imagine what to expect from working as a receptionist. On the other hand, I did not have an exact picture of the additional tasks that need to be done at the reception. Of course the amount of preparation tasks is higher at the Hotel Sacher as opposed to other hotels, since all rooms offer different features and look very different from one another.
Doing my internship at the Hotel Sacher Vienna made it possible to gain an unbelievably high amount of experience. Especially in the position of a receptionist, I cannot think of another hotel that could possibly train me in an as precisely way as the team at Sacher did. Of course there were also occurrences that were not as convenient in the first place. Being the only intern assigned to night shifts was nothing I would have expected in advance. Retrospectively though, it was one of the best experiences I ever had as it made me understand the coherence between the day and the night shift.
Another point I would like to stress is the familiarity within the team. All colleagues tried their best to make me feel welcome and to get me integrated within the team. Therefore working in this environment made me understand what real teamwork and team spirit actually stands for. Somehow it was possible to feel that the hotel is family-owned regarding the treatment of people amongst each other.
Turning to the interaction with guests I can say that working at the Hotel Sacher very positively contributed to the way I am now able to deal with difficult situations. On the other hand I learnt how easy it can be to turn a guest´s stay into an unforgettable experience.
Working at the Hotel Sacher Vienna was a great experience for me. The internship taught me a lot – professionally as well as personally. Therefore I was very delighted when I was offered to continue my work on a part-time basis.”