Students enjoy a behind-the-scenes trip to the Hilton

On Wednesday, 13th April 2017, twenty three Grade 10 Travel and Tourism students of Dubai Gem Private School, headed by Mrs. Caroline Rebello and Mrs. Usha Fredrick, had the opportunity to visit the Hilton, Dubai Creek, for a hospitality-related educational trip.

The reception team at the Hilton was headed by Mr. Suranga Jayasinghe – Cluster Training Manager and Ms Mini Jose – Assistant Manager.

To start off, the programme began with a presentation by Mr. Jayasinghe, where he spoke about the history of the Hilton and the benefits and career opportunities that exist within the Travel and Hospitality industry. His captivating presentation also stressed the importance of teamwork in the successful running of a business and informed us that the employees of Hilton hotels are referred to as ‘team members’ rather than workers!

Soon, in order to build student teamwork skills, the students were divided into five groups and were informed that they would be visiting the following departments: Housekeeping, Finance, Front Office and the hotel kitchen!

The concerned professionals in charge of our groups then took us on a detailed tour of each department, demonstrating the various functions of the personnel and how they fit into the overall efficient working of the department and the hotel.

Several different activities were experienced by the students in each of the different departments. In the Housekeeping Department, for example, the students were all excited to try and fold bath towels in various novel shapes, such as a swan and a dog, while learning how a typical hotel room is made up.  Some of the students managed to do this quite well in the end, thanks to the patience of our hotel guides!

The tour of the Finance Department provided the keen students with crucial insights into how the business end of the hotel runs. They were given an idea of how percentage profit can be calculated for each hotel activity as well as a snapshot on how much income is generated by various departments.

Meanwhile, the journey to the Front Office was made all the more enticing for the students as they were given chocolate treats and were involved in an activity of providing Concierge Service including arranging luggage on a typical concierge birdcage luggage trolley!

The best part of the trip was also the tastiest! The students were given a chance to actually cook their own full course meal in the hotel kitchen under the expert tutelage of the chefs at hand. On the menu were: Quinoa Rocket Salad with Mozzarella Cheese as the starter, Chicken breast with mashed potato and sauté vegetables as the main course, and finally, chocolate fondant as the dessert.

We were eager not just to try our hand at making the 3-course meal, but also to taste the end result, especially after being involved in the whole process! Well, need I say that it was absolutely delicious!

While having lunch, we welcomed the manager of the hotel, who gave a speech about the career opportunities available in the hospitality sector. This was followed by a certificate presentation  ceremony where all the students got a commemorative certificate. It was with much sincerity that the students thanked the Hilton representatives at the end of the visit, because they really benefitted from the visit!

The trip was thoroughly enjoyed by the students and it was indeed a great learning experience!

Anishaa Jaisinghani
Student Correspondent