From Speechless to Hotelier Career
By: Rebecca Jooyoung Oh
Ever since I was in late elementary and high school, I had a speech anxiety. I had a fear of talking to people, especially to those I did not know personally. Nonetheless, I did learn other languages. Besides my native Korean, I became fluent in English and Japanese, and I could understand Chinese. But I still hesitated to talk to people!
Then while studying International Hospitality Management at Enderun Colleges, the moment came to select an internship. Guam came up as a suggestion. Why Guam? It’s off the beaten track, so far away! And yet Guam is sought as a tourism destination by many Asians – Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos— and even Russians!
I was accepted at the Hyatt Regency Guam. For me, it was a phenomenal experience in every aspect. My first position was at the Regency Club Lounge and I finished at the front desk, which made me even more professional, as I learned throughout this internship. The corrections of my colleagues made me stronger and helped me improve my skills every day. But more than that, front desk helped cure my anxiety to talk to people. I realized that I even enjoyed talking to my guests!
I learned quickly how to resolve guest’s complaints courteously and professionally. One of my long–term guests, ‘Mr. Nabbie’was unforgettable. Every time he passed by the front desk, he would entertain us with small talk about family and work. Sometimes he would come with coffee brewed from his ‘special coffee maker’ and share it with the whole front desk staff whom he called his ‘favorites.’ Mr. Nabbie also left us a long complement on the hotel survey which made me realize that we at front desk made an impact as the Hyatt family.
Beyond all my studies, faults and fears, my Enderun path has led me to Guam. More importantly, Mr. Nabbie’s compliment proved to me, that I belong to the hotel industry!