11 girls from St. Mary’s were taken to the Casino Hotel with Niki, Brijesh and me on saturday as part of MAD’s placements initiative to get them acquainted with the opportunities available in the hotel industry. The girls were shy and quiet but i believe they learned a lot today.
We left from St. Mary’s by 9:45 and got to Casino hotel in an hour. We were taken to an office where the head of training and recruitment, Ms. Devi met us. She told the kids and us that we would be taken on a guided tour of the hotel and then we would meet people from different departments and get to interact with them and find out more about the work they do.
We started off with the lobby and the front-desk. The kids were told how guests check in there and how the people here have to be really warm and sweet. Then they were taken to see some rooms on the second floor and a chandelier on the way got them really excited. They explained to the kids how housekeeping kept the rooms very neat and clean at all times and made sure that all the guests were happy and satisfied. The girls (including Niki) were really impressed by the phone in the bathroom.
We were then taken to the gym/fitness center but couldn’t stay for long as guests were coming in to work out.
Next, they were taken to the sea-food restaurant ‘Fort Cochin’. It was under renovation but was still exciting to see. The really large fish and the 50-year old banyan tree grabbed everyone’s attention. We went to the swimming pool and the vast blue mesmerised eveyone.
We then saw the engineering room, two very large cooling towers and housekeeping. The importance of housekeeping and what it meant to the guests and how it would assure their return was explained to the kids here.
They were then taken back through the engineering room and to the kitchen. Even though we weren’t allowed into the kitchen,everyone saw through a glass door what was happening and how. We also saw the store and the cold-room for the cakes and other Bakery stuff. The place was filled with a hundred cakes of different colours, shapes and sizes(sigh).
Next, we saw the restaurant which as everything else, was immaculately clean and beautiful.Here they gave us seats and served us three different varieties of biscuits and pineapple and mango juice and yes, they tasted divine!! They showed us the paintings done by famed artist Namboodiri which were hung on the wall, while we waited anxiously for what was to follow.
Then entered the head-chef who talked to us about the different prospects available to you after a course in hotel management.He told the kids what you can do to become a chef and also about life in a big hotel. This was very interesting and the kids were also given a chance to clear their queries and doubts with him.
This was followed by an interactive session with the General manager who shared a lot of good knowledge with the kids. He spoke from personal experience and his talk was extremely motivating and moving. The girls also got a chance to talk to one of the waiters and know more about how and what he was doing there.
We were all then taken back to the office where they showed us pictures of the entire hotel that we had just visited. The personal manager of Casino hotel then came, talked to the kids and gave them input as to how they could join the hotel industry. He told them how they could join college after 12th or they could directly join Casino as an apprentice if they were interested.
Special mention goes out here to Ms. Lathika and Ms. Meera who accompanied us throughout and formed an integral part of our guided tour.
The girls and we volunteers all, left with a lot of admiration and newly-found respect for the people working in the hotel industry.