Enderun Food and Wine Society: Opening Doors for New Opportunities
The Enderun Food and Wine Society (EFWS) is a well-known name in Enderun. It is known not only as the co-curricular Hotel Administration organization, or that organization that hones it’s members to be industry ready, but also as one of the organizations that has been able to provide job opportunities to their members even before they graduate.
Here are some of the stories of former and current members of the organization, starting from their daily work duties, to why they joined the organization, and then to how being in the organization helped them in navigating the jobs that they are in now.
First is Natalie Lang, who worked as a Retail Sales Associate of Origine. Her work included reaching out to customers, processing orders, getting wines from the warehouse, and occasionally handling wine tastings.
When asked why she joined the organization, she explained that it was after taking Beverage Management class, she wanted to know more about wines and then was told of the organization that could help her achieve that.
Through being in EFWS, she has learned a lot about basic wine knowledge to proper wine service, as well as been able to find people that she can discuss her interests with. And this has helped in that when she went for job interviews because her prospective employers think she is already well-trained and ready to take on the job. Aside from that, being in the organization has really immersed her with people that like this topic as much as she does.
Next would be Regina Amancio, who works as a Retail Assistant at Wine Drop. Her duties at her job have included attending wine training, learning about wines per region, and working for the store’s booth when there are events.
When asked about how she joined the organization, Amancio explains that she joined the organization because of encouragement from a friend who was already a member. From just joining to be with a friend, she eventually discovered she really liked working events with how it kept her on her feet and was different every day.
Moving to how EFWS has helped her to get to this position, she explained that the experience she got from events were not only good additions to her Linkedin profile, but was good exposure to all of the different parts of the Food and Beverage industry. She also mentioned that being a member gave her the opportunity to get her WSET certification. But most of all, being in EFWS just taught her to just volunteer for whatever experiences were there. Being a shy person herself, it seemed stressful and daunting, but through the organization she was able to see past that and realize it’s actually fun.
Third is Gabriel Santos, who is working as an E-Commerce Marketing Associate for Winery. His duties include creating campaigns for the new wines, spirits, and beers that the company would be offering for their next major sale, checking that information on the products displayed on the website are correct, composing emails to be sent to customers, handling their social media, and checking their online store accounts on Lazada and Shopee.
Moving to how he found himself in the organization, he explained he heard about itn through one of his friends about how it was a very interesting organization to join. He stated that looking back, he probably would have flunked the application interview with the nature of his answers. A lot of his answers made him sound a bit ignorant, but he said what saved him was his passion for good food and spirits. This ignorant mindset did eventually change as he attended more events and became more engrossed in learning about wines and spirits.
He later explained that being in EFWS helped him get the position he is in now because of the amount of event experience he was able to place on his resume. Majority of these experiences came from the events that the organization gave him the opportunity to attend. These events were also where he was able to meet some of the best and most talented in the industry and where he was able to cultivate and further improve his skills. Being in EFWS also encouraged him to pursue and eventually get his SWE and WSET certifications in Wine. If not for the organization, he believes he would have not been as qualified for the position because many of the things he learned are not easily found online.
Some valuable things he also learned through EFWS would be the traits of grit and tenacity. Aside from learning all this technical knowledge, he stated that being in the organization teaches you how tough the industry really is. Santos explained that it is not enough to just be smart, you also have to work very hard to stay in. This line of work has long hours and you will be very tired, but you still have to be able to deliver consistently.
Fourth is Rose de Guzman who worked in the Marketing department of Origine where she was responsible for curating wine related digital contents for their social media, blogs, and emails.
When asked why she joined EFWS, she shared that with her love for F&B, she was invited by Ms. Bel to revive the organization. From there she was EFWS’ secretary and the runner up at 2019 Whiskey Live competition.
Going to how EFWS helped her land that position, she shared that the organization equipped her with knowledge in beverage and F&B service which helped her grasp the task and having good connections of people within the beverage industry which provided her with recommendations which propelled her career.
Next up is Jigger League, who was working in Origine as a Retail Wine Specialist where his duties included holding wine tasting sessions and workshops in various restaurants to train their employees’ overall wine knowledge, providing wine recommendations for clients, and providing in-depth differences and nuances in each wine.
When asked why he initially joined EFWS, League shared that one time he and his friends were wondering why there was not an organization that focuses on beverages. After discussing this matter to Ms. Bel Castro, he and a few others decided to have EFWS revived, where he worked as the head of Human Resources and Public Relations.
When asked about how EFWS helped him attain his current position, he shared that EFWS exposed him to outside beverage events that helped him familiarize himself in the world of wine. Aside from that, joining the organization helped him develop habits such as the organization skills needed for leading events and grit for being able to deliver the tasks assigned without any complaints.
Last but not least is Jean Park, who is currently working as the Operations Manager for Wine Depot, where her job entails handling the retail stores and making sure the operations run smoothly.
When asked why she joined EFWS, Park shared that she actually did not do it on purpose and just ended up in the first meeting room where they chose the officers. From that chance encounter, Park eventually went on to become the Vice President of the organization and eventually win first place in the Junior’s category at the 2019 Philippine Sommelier Competition.
Going to how EFWS helped her gain her current position, she shared that most of her F&B knowledge comes from events where she volunteered in. Aside from that, the organization provided her the opportunity to build industry connections and has allowed her to talk to producers, wine professionals and customers that serves as a great practice in product knowledge and guest interaction.
And then, their advice for the current and future EFWS members would be to not be afraid to take a chance and to explore the many opportunities offered. Even if you feel you are not qualified, not ready, or have zero experience, never let that stop you from joining anyway. As stated by Jean Park, “I still remember my first event where all I knew was red and white and was very confused to see “pink” wine for the first time.”. If she can go from knowing not much to now being a WSET Level 2 Award in Wines recipient and the Operations Manager of one of the biggest wine retailers in the country, you can definitely do the same.
Her story, much like the stories of the other members, should serve as inspiration to put yourself out there. You may not do that great at the first event, but all the successes and failures that come from it will help you not only in the next event, but in the future. With this in mind, take advantage of the opportunities that are within your grasp, since this can propel your career within the industry. As you progress, you become exposed to new opportunities, meet new people, and gain relevant experiences that will serve as a foundation when you graduate and officially enter the industry.
All in all, the events and knowledge that a member can gain from an organization like the Enderun Food and Wine Society are truly valuable assets that can aid in securing a job in the future. As shown in the stories of our former and current members, all of the preliminary training and exposure has truly strengthened not only their skills, but also given them additional experience that they would have not gotten anywhere else.