Every year, the primary problem of most third years on Tour 109 is where to go. The ones who made it through practicum had attributed this to a number of forces, from AIT’s late orientation and processing schedule to the who’s-to-blame lack of information (in various forms). As early as October, the aspiring trainee-to-be should have already made a list of where to go as AIT began to be strict last year in following its OJT requirements particularly on subjects taken. While Salimbay advises the third year to consider reviewing the OJT requirements, here is the first round-up of practicum place reviews that may hopefully help the third year to decide in this already late January.
Department of Tourism (NTO)
Respondent: Jomaricris De Luna, Team Japan
It is the lead government agency that is responsible for the regulation of the Philippine tourism industry and the promotion of our country as a tourist destination. You would have a more in-depth look of the programs and activities the government is spearheading and supporting to promote Philippine tourism. If given a chance, you’ll be able to attend events and meet different people from various industries (both local and international) that are connected to tourism (e.g. Hotels, Resorts, Travel Agencies, and many others). You will have a chance to help the marketing teams in their preparation for events where international Philippine tourism promotion could be done.
If you want to finish your practicum immediately, DOT is not for you since it is a government office and regular working hours (8am-5pm) [policy] apply. Most of the time, you will just be tasked to do menial works [such as] receive incoming and outgoing communications, photocopy documents, etc.)
Management Training Program in Thailand (Others)
Respondent: Mimi Mabanta
If you seek true wisdom and knowledge, you need to get out of your comfort zone, experience everything with your bare hands and learn how to think outside the box. The School of Tourism Development of Maejo University, Thailand designed and prepared a management training program to allow realistic international perspective of ecotourism development for us. We were also provided with on-campus accommodation throughout the entire internship. We hosted a 30-minute radio program (every Monday and Tuesday), attended lectures, joined in local cultural celebrations, e.g. Songkran festival, assisted in the preparation and holding of an international conference. Observation, action, immersion, analysis, and understanding is the key.
The program opened our eyes to see the real situation of the difference between the Philippines’ and Thailand’s tourism industry not only through observation but also through hands-on participation. We’ve also observed the effectiveness of Thailand’s strategy. AIT students are trained to be managers and the program more than sufficed. As managers, interaction with locals and tourists and relationships with them are also investments. Sacrifice your comfort for others and you will reap greater results and have fun too! If asked a zillion times what OJT I would choose. I will never falter answering the same question, ‘the same program we had in Thailand’.
Allowance and airfare are not cheap, few Thai locals know English so communication is a challenge. Differences in culture exist so we also need to be careful not to offend Thais.
Edsa Shangri-La (Hotel)
Respondent: Inna Alberto
I loved my stay at Edsa Shangri-La Manila as a practicumer because people there were nice and food was great! I felt like I was really a working girl already. Practicumers are usually assigned to do office work or as lobby ambassadors. I preferred office work because I was able to roam around the hotel, go to the department and meet executives. And if you like performing, you’d also be able to show off and finish your working hours faster.
They do not allow rotations except when some departments need extra people.
Respondent: Kiro Opulencia
Mas malawak ang nasasaklawan ng event organizing firm. Kaya nitong panghawakan ang iba’t ibang event magmula sa pambansang kaganapan until sa mga debut or mga conference or mga debut, etc. depende. Malawak siya at talagang hands-on. Parang immersion na rin siya. Marami kang tao na makakahalubilo at iba’t ibang connection din.
Pero hassle siya. Matrabaho. May ibang feeling pa rin kapag sa hotel or sa ibang industry ka maa-assign. May mga tip din sa hotel or sa restaurant, at ganun din yung dating sa ibang industry—may mame-meet ka rin namang tao.
Respondent: Ira Co
In amadeus, think of internship with benefits. Ang training na nagkakahalaga ng up to Php 10,000 ay maaari mong makuha nang libre. Dito, kahit na sinusumpa mo na ang araw-araw mong “trabaho”, aayawin mong umalis sa Amadeus dahil parang kapamilya mo na rin ang mga ka-department mo. Tataba ka dahil parang every week nalang may kainan dahil lagi silang may sine-celebrate. Kaya kung gusto mo ng normal OJT with a bit of twist, sa Amadeus ka na!
Kapag sa Amadeus, macro ang perspective na makukuha mo compared to specific sectors of the tourism industry like hotels, events, etc. Kaya hindi mo gaano makikita kung paano ang pamamalakad sa mga ito. Pero kung habol mo naman ay career sa field ng travel agency, very helpful ang practicum sa Amadeus. Instant connections.
(To follow: Amanpulo, Delta, Ilocos LGU, and PICC)