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Beaches, Rollercoasters and an Ocean Cruise

11 Aug

Time is getting short now, and our to-do list is going that way too…


‘The Best Beach On The East Coast’ turned out to be just that.  Thanks to DCU’s own Patrick McDermott and his network of great people to know we managed to spend an unforgettable day moving between a private beach, a members only beach club, A&E, and even the fourteenth tee box at the Ocean Course where Rory Mac is currently tearing things up at the PGA Championship. The TV pictures don’t come close to doing it justice, and the weather was much better for us. August is trying its best to help us prepare for home again – it rains heavily and without much warning, but without seeming to get any cooler. It’s nice most of the time, but it could give Ireland’s climate some lessons in unpredictability.

Also ticked off our to-do list is a them park visit, a golf day (lads), a shopping day (girls), and a boat trip, all of which were highlights by themselves.

We’ve all got a taste or two of the Bennett Hospitality offices by now as well. Watching big business deals done in terms as straight forward as these is cool, and it added a lot to the whole experience.

Round up of the summer will be the next and most likely last post. Photos to follow shortly………..


Working Life

23 Jul
Working life
Hi Denise here. Just giving a quick update on our working experience so far. Conor and I were assigned to the Hamton Inn while Rachel and Philip were assigned to Embassy Suites next door. Both hotels are extremely reputable and held with high regard in the local area and the standard within both is exceptionally high. When Conor and I first arrived, the hotel was short staffed and we were thrown straight into the deep end working at front desk while Philip and Rachel eased their way in by spending the first few weeks working in house-keeping and getting to know the hotel a little better. At first, working at front desk was extremely daunting as we were unfamilar with the local area and constantly being challanged by guest requests and questions, however, with the patience and guidance of our managers Pete, Casey and Brandon, the daily tasks at front desk became less intimidating. The main shifts which we worked were 7-3 or 3-11 and we sometimes also worked 11-7. All of which have their advantages and disadvantages depending on our social plans such as heading out for drinks with co-workers or spending a day in the scorching sun. Both hotels are located in the heart of downtown Charleston Historic District and are usually fully booked with plenty of tourists visiting the area. Some of our main tasks working at front desk include checking in and out hotel guests, constantly adhering to guest requests, giving recommendations, directions and making bookings for guests, updating hotel paper work and also dealing with customer complaints. As we quickly learned, some guests can be particulary demanding and uncooperative, however both hotels have a stong emphasis on good quality service so the main challenge is to satisfy and help every customer as much as we can. In relation to the staff which we work with, every one is extremely friendly and helpful and we have a lot of fun at work usually followed by some after work drinks.

Half a Charleston Internship left – A cup half full

22 Jul

Somehow we’re halfway through our internship, and plans post-Charleston are starting to take shape. Pre-departure planning has turned into a bit of a compulsion too – like a collective mid-life crisis, we’ve all become a bit afraid that our time will be up here before we’ve got around to do all the things we said we would back when we had an eternity of Charleston stretching in front of us. Kayaking, golfing for the lads/shopping for the ladies, a theme park visit, some proper southern home cooking, and even our leaving party have all been allotted their own dates now.

In the here and now, meanwhile, things are going as good as ever. Charleston’s still a charm. Our use as front desk staff is on the up as our sense of direction gets slowly better. Fortunate for us you couldn’t be in a better job if you’re looking to get to know a city well. Still working with the same legends as we always have since day zero. Also scheduled to get a taste of the admin side of things at the Bennett Hofford offices over the next few weeks (they own the hotels we work in, among a tonne of other stuff). 

Elsewhere, we’re just back from an relaxing, refined and culturally enlightening night in Myrtle Beach, a tourist party resort two hours north of Charleston, and we’re very much looking forward to Saturday’s trip to (according to our hotel’s concierge Frank) ‘The best beach on the east coast bar none’ at Kiawah Island. Cameras will be packed…

More to follow………

the results are in…..

7 Jul

Pretty exceptional across the board… but the girls shaded it, with a dessert of strawberries and chocolate cake clinching a narrow victory in Come Dine with Me’s controversial US debut. And thanks to an altogether more transparent marking process, we all have a degree to our name. Big relief. Massive celebration.

Got the chance to sample America’s national sport at a Charleston Riverdogs game, which (for a sport as inherently boring as baseball) makes for some evening’s craic. The seats were great, the beer kept coming and, with 25 degree sunshine holding until things were wrapped up about 10, the atmosphere was as chilled out as it gets. Sincere thanks to Mike, Tracy, Kim, Emily and co for arranging the tickets. Turned into one of the highlights of the summer to date.

Edging towards some sort of routine workwise, and we’ve all had a taste of the front desk at this stage. Getting to know the city better and better as the days pass, which stands to us in a big way in the hotels. Biggest plus point continues to be the colleagues we’re lucky enough to be working with in both hotels. Endlessly patient and helpful, and contribute in no small part to our social efforts too.

Three weeks gone by now. Frightening thought…….

Bennett 2012 – in the beginning…..

20 Jun

Day one of work in Embassy Suites/Hampton Inn, and day four of socialising with colleagues. Quickly became clear that this would be an unreal place to live/work once we were collected at Charleston Airport by Kelly and Carolyn – two members of our half-dozen strong work/social consultants. Food to-date has been an experience in itself… the place is worth a visit for that alone, and the welcome from the locals makes our cead mile failte look like ignorance itself. Breakfast with the Hilton aristocracy and cookouts with the lads, deck chairs and unbroken sunshine – small wonder Wikipedia has barely a bad word to say about Charleston. And it probably goes without saying that the Courtyards at 411 Meeting St put College Park  well into the shade. Standard is set pretty high for weeks 2-10….

philip, conor, denise & rachel

Hello world!

20 Jun

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Happy blogging!