Career Education Day 2019 in Dubrovnik - overview from a student volunteer perspective

By Tetiana Kulbaka

 

March 8, 2019

Surprisingly, in the XXI century, there are still some people who have no idea what the hospitality industry is about. Very often I get bombarded with the questions like: "Why did you choose hospitality?" I think the reason is obvious: this industry requires its representatives to dress up at least once a week and attend some fancy meeting with complimentary banquets. 

Joking aside, it is much more demanding. Hospitality can be seen as the people industry that can be very challenging from time to time. It goes without saying that theoretical knowledge can help, but to succeed in the hospitality business one should definitely leave the comfort zone and explore the real labor market.

When considering the University for getting my degree in Hospitality, one of my crucial requirements was the obligation to gain some hands-on experience. I was amazed when I found out about RIT`s co-operative education programs. While gaining professional experience, it is a great opportunity to establish some useful networks, connect with some great hospitality figures and even improve some of the personal skills: time management, work ethics, flexibility, leadership, and communication. With a moment thought, I knew what my choice would be. And here I am. Not only the student of RIT Croatia but also a proud Career Education Day volunteer who is ready to share my experience and inspire others to become potential volunteers!

To begin with, I am trying to be involved in as many events happening on campus as possible. I have a genuine interest in college life and I feel excited in finding out what these organizational processes look like behind the scenes. In addition, I love being engaged in everything connected with the event management. I consider it as the opportunity to gain some experience, connect with the college representatives as well as my peers, and, for sure, it will look like a nice addition to my CV. So, I did not hesitate on receiving the message about this opportunity to become a CED volunteer and was among the first students to apply.

Career Education Day is an annual event that requires a tedious preparation process. There are so many details to consider: starting from booking the conference room to fit all of the CED participants, printing the name tags of around three hundred people, inviting photographers to designing a program that will suit the needs and knowledge level of the students. Not to mention the need to hire the volunteers and to assign the specific job to each of them.

Petra Vodopija Borković, Career Services, Alumni Relations, and International Office Manager, is in charge of this event. But dedicated volunteers are always ready to help her. This year the RIT junior student Tena Vuković was chosen to take the role of the volunteers` supervisor. She was always there for us to give guidelines, to support and make sure that everything was performed in a timely manner. 

Before the very event, all of the volunteers met with Mrs. Petra Vodopija Borković and Tena Vuković at the Libertas Rixos hotel where the event took place. We spent there around three hours helping to set up all of the necessities, organizing the areas for the interviews, checking the equipment, sorting the name tags and clarifying the role of every volunteer. Some of us were responsible for welcoming the company representatives, faculty, staff and students. Some were responsible for assisting the students and company representatives during the job interviews, whereas others were in charge of providing Food and Beverage services. Even if the future job is at stake, students are always hungry:)

As for me, I was responsible for greeting the faculty members and handing out their name tags. Maybe it does not sound like a way too important job, but I loved it. I would compare it to working at the Front Office. You embody the company, or the event in our case, so smile and set the right mood.

Once I was done with welcoming everyone, I tried to help out any volunteers that needed help. I think it is a really exciting part of CED event: mastering the authenticity of the teamwork skills. You are all even and you want to be helpful because you can expect help in return.

Even though I have just started my educational journey, I am ready to claim that CED is an inseparable part of becoming successful at RIT. Every year some of the leading companies and hotels are cooperating with the RIT Croatia in their pursuit to find the potential employees. From my perspective, it is a great opportunity to learn more profoundly about the real labor market. And, also, a great chance to master the art of job interviews.

As for me, from the very beginning of the educational year, I knew that I would like to work during the upcoming summer as the Front Office Agent. It is a very demanding job, indeed. But I am sure that is the best way to get acquainted with the hotel operations more closely. So, during CED I managed to go through five job interviews. To be honest, it was quite challenging, especially at the beginning. But after the second interview, I started to enjoy the process. My job interview mantra claims: Be yourself, smile and shake hands. It helped me a lot, and I am currently preparing for two more job interviews with the companies that are ready to employ me.

All in all, the CED 2019 is over, but I am sure that the next year I will be among volunteers again. However, if there are some of the enthusiastic students who obtain volunteer positions earlier than me, I will still be glad to attend the event, mingle with the hospitality leaders and challenge myself with new interview experiences.

Dream it. Wish it. Do it.

 

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