Written by Anna DeMalo, Summer 2016Intern
Mixin’ it Up from Day Uno
When I get asked about a typical day at my internship, I honestly have difficulty explaining it. When I say “no two days are alike”, it truly is not an exaggeration. I work with a different person each day of the week, so thankfully, it is a rare occasion that I spend an entire day sitting in an office behind a computer screen. When there are events going on, you’ll find me behind the scenes working with the banquet team to help run the show at the Aloft Mount Laurel. I could be doing anything from assisting in the bar area during a W XYZ Bar event, to decorating and setting the ballroom in preparation for a social event, or helping to service a corporate meeting with food and beverage.
On Wednesdays, when I am with The Director of Communications, I get the opportunity to learn about the advertisement and social media side of the hotel industry. It’s here where I really get to use my creativity when designing flyers, posters, and videos for events and promotion. I even had the opportunity to speak on a local radio talk show to promote an event which I solicited the food trucks and vendors for!
At the end of the day, interning in the hotel is like having five different jobs packed into one.
The Fresh Air is Outside the Box
I’m a firm believer in the phrase ‘think outside the box’, and at the Aloft Mount Laurel, these are words to live by. The first time I heard The Director of Sales and Catering use this phrase was when we were meeting with a client about planning a menu for their social event. The client wanted it to be fun and not a “typical” sit down dinner menu- well, let me tell you, there was nothing typical about the menu we customized for her. Rather than having traditional salad bar, we created a literal salad BAR featuring salads mixed in martini shakers and served in margarita glasses, with dressings served in shot glasses on the side.
I was nervous that this internship would be a 9-5 office job and I would feel limited to ‘staying in the box’, but the fact is I was hired for this internship because of my creativity skills. I have a passion for art and creating, both are important factors to me in any career path I choose. This internship gives me the freedom to utilize my creativity and lets me exercise my imagination. Anything a client desires or could possibly think of, I get to plan ways to make it happen. It really is exciting!
Planning my very own WXYZ Bar event
One of the first tasks I was assigned to was planning and executing an event to promote The W XYZ Bar. I came up with five ideas and pitched them to The Director of Sales and Catering. Together, we selected Reggae Happy Hour and the rest of the planning was all up to me! It was my job to find a band, plan the menu and drink specials, make the flyer, promote it, and execute it.
Finding the live entertainment was exciting and something I had never done before, but I discovered that it was something I really loved doing. Part of it was simply listening to their music and then finally selecting the one we thought would work best in our venue – work is tough, let me tell you! I really put my business skills to the test when negotiating and weighing the best options for the event.
Moreso, I learned a lot about marketing and advertisement when creating the flyers and promoting for the event. It was awesome to communicate with the band and promote together through social media.
Reggae Night ended up bringing in such high Tuesday night bar sales, that the hotel is repeating the event to close out the summer! They’re even bringing back the same band, Jay D Clark! I was really proud of myself, and thrilled with the turnout.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
The sales team for Delco Development’s Aloft Hotel is seriously a female powerhouse. Imagine the scene in the movie Elf when Miles Finch shares his journal of genius ideas and they construct a storyboard under last minute pressure on Christmas Eve. These meetings are like an endless rapid fire of new ideas to boost sales. It was really cool to hear about the sales manager’s successes, as well as challenges, and how they ultimately brainstormed ways to overcome them. I even got to share some of my opinions and ideas to help contribute to the sales effort. I loved the sales aspect of my internship and will definitely use what I learned here in my future business endeavors.