Ralph BuendiaAMERICAN transcendentalist, philosopher, essayist, poet and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.”
True enough, while opportunities are everywhere and great ones come to all, but many do not know they have met them. I had my share of such chance, such opportunity for my on-the-job training abroad.

As part of course requirement in Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, students have an option to be deployed for the OJT locally or abroad. I have chosen the latter. Perhaps just like other students who have been given the same chance, training abroad would always start with unexplainable excitement and anxiety which is a normal life’s encounter.

My experience in Anantara Mui Ne Resort and Spa as a trainee in Food and Beverage and Front Office really served as one of the most unforgettable experiences because I learned how to handle difficult situations and able to resolve it the way I knew, how by practical application of common sense, remembering the principles and theories that I learned during my formal training in school. Personal experiences shared by my mentors handling dissatisfied customers during my formal educational training helped me a lot during those hard times of my OJT.

Indeed it is true that people are hard to please. Different guests have various need levels and definitions. Sometimes hard work does not guarantee customer satisfaction.

Part of my unforgettable and challenging experience was when one of the guests complained that I was unable to respond his in a short time. The first order reacting to the situation was to listen to what the guest was saying, understanding that whatever and everything he uttered because he was unhappy on such given situation. After everything has been said, an apology extended with an assurance and attention shall be looked into to all of his needs.

The brief awful encounter which almost put me in tears, feeling alone in a foreign country, being scolded by a stranger, the hard work in between unavoidable skipping meals just to be able to finish the tasks given to me-–instead of giving up, it served as an inspiration and motivation to do well on my OJT.

Reflecting back, the training was a perfect venue to hone one’s skills handling and communicating with people, skills doing the job and preparing to become competitive as HRM students and a future key player in the hospitality industry.

Ralph Palomero Buendia