Meet 21- year old Danielle Josephine Teixeira, who is a Hospitality Management Diploma with AHLEI recognition student. Danielle comes all the way from Pretoria and she is currently working at The Beach Club situated in Palm Beach, Florida. Danielle is working at the country club as an intern in the Food and Beverage Department.
At the International Hotel School we are very big on celebrating our students’ successes. With that in mind, Danielle has been awarded a scholarship to finish her Honours Degree in Switzerland with the Swiss Education Group. This is a phenomenal achievement!
As you may know the Food and Beverage industry can get extremely busy at times with many events and conferences, but we managed to steal a couple of minutes out of Danielle’s work schedule to catch up and discuss career goals. “My passion for the hospitality industry began at a very young age. Growing up, I used to visit my mom at The Tshwane University of Technology, she was a Somatology Lecturer. When she was overseeing her students doing their practical’s she would send me to go visit her friends that worked in the hospitality department. I was always fascinated by the students’ learning about the various wines and food. To be honest, I found it a bit odd that they spend hours laying tables with white table cloths and measuring the knives as well as the forks on the table with rulers. After studying at the International Hotel School, I now understand. The older I got the more fascinated I became with the industry. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am laying tables exactly the same way,” chuckles Danielle.
Since Danielle entered the Hospitality Industry she has discovered that it’s not easy all the time and comes with some challenges. “Some days everything will go your way and other days things will go the exact opposite way. For instance, a tour group can arrive at the wrong hotel and to make things even worse not one of them speaks English. There is never a dull moment in our industry and it is ever-changing,” says Danielle.
For her Work Integrated Learning (WIL), Danielle was placed at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Mariott Menlyn. That is where she met two phenomenal women that have become her mentors, Nicole Slade (the Executive Housekeeper) and Anlé Britz (Guest Relations Manager), have taught Danielle a lot about the industry from how to clean a room to leading hotel standard, and yes that meant she had to clean many toilets and make a ton of beds. How to make guests comfortable in their home away from home by adding personal touches. These touches included, setting up a romantic turndown for a newly married couple on honeymoon, and making elephants out of towels for a tour group from Italy. “The one thing that they taught me, that I will carry with me throughout my career, is the importance of taking care of my team, because at the end of the day without team support the industry will eat you alive. They are the people that you spend most of your days with, and if we look after them they will look after our guests. These two ladies pushed me to my limits to ensure that I reached my full potential,” says Danielle. The best advice I ever got from both of them was “Dani, go work overseas you will never regret it, but never forget where you come from.”
Everyone always talks about all the famous people that they have met during their careers, but for Danielle it’s not about the people she’s met, rather it’s about the special occasions that she gets to be a part of. When she was 17 years old she worked at a wedding venue. As the bride walked down the aisle the wedding planner quietly leaned over and told Danielle to look at the grooms face. That’s when she realized that she was in the right place and the right industry. Seeing the groom’s face and how in love they were, made the long hours and wedding preparation all worth it!
“My goal for the next couple of years is to travel to a new country every year. Hopefully, I will be able to one day work in Europe for a 5 star hotel. For those that are perhaps feeling stuck in their careers or a little defeated, here’s a quote that her mother Liesl shared with her, “why reach for the stars if there are footprints on the moon”. If you’re having a bad day a cup of tea will make it better, if not try a piece of chocolate cake,” smiles Danielle.
As a Food and Beverage Intern, Danielle is responsible for the following:
- Serving members of the club in the three dining options. The club has formal dining, casual and pool dining.
- Ensuring that the buffet has been correctly set up and all the correct meals have been laid out.
- Allocating interns side works for the week.
- Assisting the General Manager with the creation of the new alcohol menu.
- Leading the teams for synchronized service for weddings and banquets.
- Overseeing the set up for each morning shift.
If, like Danielle, you are passionate about the hospitality industry, the International Hotel School has a programme that will suit you. Give us a call today!