Only in Siem Reap can a hospitality intern be expected to transition his expectation from doing dull management intern jobs that are normally expected becoming to the guy keeping everyone entertained and being the life of the party. That was my nephews experience when he recently applied to The Mad Monkey Siem Reap Hostel for his internship.
He could possibly have been the luckiest internship ever; The Mad Monkey is well known to deliver awesome service combined with a socially responsible agenda that helps fund clean water projects, pro-poor education and a variety of other socially positive activities and it does this my ensuring it provides the best backpacker entertainment and guest experience in Cambodia.
For three months, he was giving genuine service involving real customers as an intern, and he was lucky enough to be given a position working in every element of the hostel including cleaning, the kitchen, the front desk, the bar and restaurant service and the different management departments such as marketing and finance. Then, and this astounded me, for the last ten days of his internship he was actually given one of the hostels to run as the general manager under the supervision of the Mad Monkey team of course, but still an amazing opportunity for him and one that most interns would relish compared to getting the coffees and reloading the photocopier!
Ok, so one lucky kid, then you realise that during his internship half of his job was working in the hostel and the other half was writing up his management observations and recommendations, and he could do this from outside of work! The Mad Monkey has hostels in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Kampot and he was free to breeze in and out of each hostel staying and eating for free on his days off. So he effectively had his internship and the paid holiday of a lifetime! However on his days off he spent most of the time working and visiting the charities and organisations that The Mad Monkey supports, he was involved in building wells, teaching kids English and working with a charity that takes kids off the garbage dumps and puts them into full time education.
He told me on the phone that his first day was intense. Detail was paramount, and although it was shaping up to be fun that the management team were on top of him for every detail, they always spent time to explain anything to him and were not shy in coming forward when he mad mistakes. “ It is great fun, but at the time this is some serious sh*t” he explained to me during one of our Skype calls.
He covered inventory and stock management, cost management, supply chain management, service management, procurement marketing, and finance and administration and operations management on his internship. The result, well the kid is currently studying at the number one hospitality school in Switzerland; costing his parents a small fortune I may add, and has now decided that he isn’t going to work in a snobby hotel and he is destined for the youth travel market and socially responsible tourism. Sound silly? Not really both are the highest growth areas of the hospitality market, and I am sure what ever he will do he will be successful at.
He is currently studying hospitality management at The Ecole Hoteliere de Lusanne, The Mad Monkey is based in Cambodia and has a relationship with this school but also considers other internship requests if you are interested in working with them for your internship year.