One year to go - final examinations, here I come!

Monday, August 28, 2017

It seems like only yesterday that I began my business apprenticeship here at the signinahotel. In reality, I’ve been here for more than two whole years. I always find it incredible how quickly time goes by and especially how much I learn, discover, experience and find out every day.

But let’s start at the beginning – for me, it was anything but obvious that this would be what I ended up doing. Like many others, I began my search for the ideal apprenticeship early in the eighth grade. I had clear ideas about what my education should involve: namely, plenty of direct customer contact. So a commercial apprenticeship never seemed like an appealing option for me – staring at a screen all day long, hanging on the phone until your ears are glowing – no thank you. I completed some trial apprenticeships in a couple of different jobs, but nothing really convinced me. Eventually, I turned to the tried-and-tested careers adviser. I’ll give you three guesses: Which career path did they strongly encourage me to consider? That’s right – a basic commercial training course. The adviser worked pretty hard to win me over, and I eventually decided to go for a trial in this area as well – not in a bank or local town hall, but in a hotel. As I’m sure you can guess, I felt so at home at the signinahotel and in Laax that I applied to do a full apprenticeship there. I can still remember that strange and queasy feeling I had in the pit of my stomach as I brought my letter to the post office. The wait for a reply was almost unbearable – it seemed to me like an eternity. But then one day, the redeeming phone call: I got an offer for a commercial apprenticeship working towards a Swiss Federal Diploma of Vocational Education and Training in the hotel/gastronomy/tourism sector at the signinahotel in Laax. The next stage of my life was about to begin!

It was 3 August 2015; a Monday. I remember it well.

It took a lot of courage for me – then just 15 years old – to pack up my few possessions and make my way to Laax, where I didn’t (yet) know a soul. Luckily, I started alongside some other apprentices, so that made everything a lot more bearable. The first thing we did was a tour of all the different departments, where we were briefly introduced to everyone. By the end of it, I was completely bewildered by the sea of names and faces.

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Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in the following departments, getting plenty of valuable experience under my belt:

  • At the signinahotel reception
  • Reservations
  • Hotel marketing

I found each department both exciting and challenging in its own way. From complicated invoices to reservations to updating the website, I’ve been able to help out in all sorts of areas, as well as shadowing the people with overall responsibility. Since the beginning of August, I’ve been in the accounting department. Starting December, I’ll be back at reception, and I’m quite sure I’ll have many more stories to tell by then as I move towards my final exams. In less than a year, it will all be over – but until then, there’s still plenty for me to do, and I’m guessing there will be more hurdles to overcome. That said, I’m looking forward to the next step of my life after I complete my training. I’ve declared war on my exams – I’m going to give it all I’ve got. After that, the world will be my oyster – and I’m so excited to find out where life will take me next.

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