Graduate Feedback – Laura’s Hotel Internship in New Zealand


Name: Laura

University: Leeds Metropolitan University (Graduate)

Currently working: Auckland, New Zealand – 4 star hotel

Placement Length: 12 Months

Start Date: June 2011

Programme: New Zealand Hotel Job


HTE Internships placed Laura into a 4 star Graduate Hotel Internship in Auckland, New Zealand. Laura started in June, with plenty of time to be ready for the Rugby World Cup this year. We asked Laura some questions about how she is enjoying NZ, how her money is going and what it is like living and working in abroad. You can check out what Laura said below.


How was your first week of work, did you have induction?

My first day at work went really well. I was very nervous but I had Charlotte (UK student placed by HTE Internships into same hotel) as company. We met with the F & B manager and worked through the induction booklet and toured the hotel.


Describe a typical work day at your hotel?

I usually work evening shifts in the hotel. I work in all areas of F and B: Restaurant, Bar, Room service and Conferencing, so the time I start work depends on where I am working. The starting times range from either 3.30pm – 5.30pm, however finishing times vary each day depending on how busy the hotel is. I have finished anywhere between 11.30pm – 03.00am.

A typical evening restaurant shift includes setting up the restaurant (if a 3.30 starter). If a 5.30 starter you help with the finishing touches and are ready for service for 6pm. Each waitor / waitress has his / her own section of tables that they are responsible for.

We take food and drink orders, serve the food and then clear the tables afterwards. When the guest has left we re set the table for the next set of guests. Dinner usually ends around 9.30pm / 10pm and at thats when we reset all tables for breakfast, clean the buffet area, polish cutlery and crockery and make sure everything is done for breakfast. If I finish early in the restaurant I usually go to help out at the bar or in the conference rooms if needed.


How are the people at your work, are they friendly, easy to ask questions?

I get on well with everyone at work and everyone was friendly and happy to help me out at the start when i most needed it.


How easy was it to find accommodation and how much are you paying?

Finding accommodation was a little tricky at first, especially since most of the houses / apartments are unfurnished. It took me 10 days to actually find somewhere, I am happy with where I am but i did have to buy furniture for my room, bed etc, which can be very costly.

I live with 2 kiwis who have looked after me since i arrived. It takes only 30mins to walk to work and I can get a taxi home at nights. I pay $155 per week, plus bills each month (I think this is average for where i live). I think that this was one of my biggest challenges, it was hard but Charlotte and I had each other to help each other out.


How are you liking living abroad?

I love living in New Zealand. I have found that all the locals are very friendly towards me. I have already seen a lot of the north island and am planning on taking a trip to the south island at some point. I am lucky that some of my friends here are keen on showing me New Zealand, so we often pop in the car on days off and explore a new place. I think the travelling part has been the best for me. I have learnt so much about NZ and the Maori culture.


What’s your best tip for next years students wanting to head to NZ?

I would say to other interns dont worry too much at the start about accommodation, it does take a while (and can be expensive staying at hostels while looking for somewhere to live) but something will pop up. Also, so long as you work hard and always give 100% at work everyone will appreciate you and the work you do.


If you’re looking for a Graduate Hospitality Internship in Australia or New Zealand like Laura, click through to the Graduate Hospitality Internships page for more information, or if you are ready to apply now for a great graduate internship, click through to the Apply Now page.


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