Out of 25 applications, I got rejected 23 times before I said ‘yes’ to the placement of a lifetime.
A constant iteration of Hickson’s famous line “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again,” permeated my mind amid my student thoughts such as, ‘what should I eat today,’ as well as, ‘I should probably start this coursework.’ By now the glitz of fresher’s week had worn off, fresher’s flu was imminent, and reality started to sink in for 2nd years who opted for a placement year.
One application, two applications, three, 25. Possibilities were endless. As all my friends were also applicants, it was a hot topic during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We celebrated successes and we supported each other whenever a rejection rolled in. Rejection is an interesting feeling to experience as a student, because nobody teaches you how to deal with it. Some companies do a really good job with rejection and even offer you constructive feedback and some companies are simply terrible at it, especially those that don’t reply at all. At least send me an automated e-mail, you know?
Emotions aside, perseverance is crucial to overcome rejection. Was I sad? Of course! But it’s a learning experience, and when the time is right, your door will open. In the meantime, however, you’ve got to keep trying. My door opened when I said ‘yes’ to an internship with Hilton, though I must admit that the hospitality industry was new to me as a sport science student. I am so grateful for my team at Hilton, as they took a chance on me and, as a student, that’s all you need – someone to believe in you.
I love my internship. Through my job I’ve had the opportunity to work on several exciting projects ranging from developing a gaming platform, to conducting research, to supporting several other corporate functions, such as marketing, brand performance support and even our hotel front office teams.
I’ve had several opportunities to learn about all aspects of Hilton’s business, and what it takes to work in a fast-paced, corporate office environment. In addition, I’ve also been exposed to different partners and external agencies and have been able to collaborate with other departments such as the Digital Acquisition Team and the Public Relations Team, and I’ve even gained real on-property experience at our hotels.
Overall, it’s been an enriching experience and I’ve grown professionally by being able to practice important soft skills, such as interpersonal communication, teamwork, project management, organisation, leadership, worth ethic, and problem solving.
I could talk forever about my highlights, as my placement itself will be a highlight from my university experience; however, the following 7 deserve a special mention:
- Family Day at the McLaren Technology Centre (Hilton Partner)
- Finals at AIG Women’s British Open – European Golf Tour (Hilton Partner)
- The Biltmore LXR Mayfair Opening (One of Hilton’s newest luxury hotels in London)
- 2 Days at BMW PGA Championship – European Golf Tour (Hilton Partner)
- Abbey Road Studios for ‘50 Year Anniversary of Abbey Road Beatles Album’ – Live Nation (Hilton Partner)
- Hilton Golfer of the Year – European Golf Tour (Hilton Partner)
- Alienware Room Hilton Panama Visit (Hotel)
Some call it luck, I call it perseverance, so my advice to all prospective applicants is the same mantra that got me my placement, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again,’ because if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.