Since my first career steps in hospitality management began as a J-1 International Exchange Intern in the U.S., I grew a fiery passion for developing young individuals and being part of different stages of their hospitality careers. Once I started heading the Food & Beverage department at an upscale, private country club and became responsible for quality and staffing levels in different areas of the operation, I was encountering challenges to attract qualified hospitality professionals. I knew that I had to get creative with employment solutions and commenced developing the prototype of a unique and successful international internship program for young industry professionals from all over the world.
My goal was to develop a program that was different and stood out from others. This was when the creative process mixed with expertise and experience began, and my differentiators were born: A concept that encompasses all services other companies provide for host properties and participants, together in one 360° service package with a personalized touch. It indeed made my idea unique and a true success!
The program not only solved the club’s hospitality talent shortages, but also enhanced service and culinary quality tremendously, and allowed me to grow within my role as a leader. It also led me to further develop training programs for all my local employees as well – we all know how important training and succession planning is for a company! For all our interns and staff members, we put together cultural activities that everyone looked forward to, and they became iconic by developing relationships. Work morale was on the rise, and local staff members not only participated in our interns’ professional and personal development but also started learning from them, their different cultures and different skill sets that they brought to the team.
I continued to further develop the program for eight years and implemented it at five properties while still working in operations management. Then I had a decision to make: Pursuing my American dream and start my own business, “International Hospitality Careers”, or going a different direction, and within a short time, “IHC” became my full-time focus.
My team of partners around the globe and I are now proudly providing young individuals with our expertise, support, and mentorship to have invaluable experiences in the U.S., and to be able to advance their careers in hospitality management. Host properties are provided with the right tools and services to facilitate an international internship program “IHC-style”, attracting the best talent of the world in the hospitality and tourism industry.
In Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa hospitality jobs are seen as true careers pursued by many young individuals with management degrees from renowned universities and these individuals have the necessary drive, passion, and energy to contribute to each host property’s overall success.