I really enjoyed my year working at DoubleTree Hilton. I performed all sorts of duties - mainly housekeeping, but also finance, marketing and Human Resource Mangement. I got to work in several hotels across the UK as well as Hilton's headquarters in Watford. There was sufficient variety during my placement year to keep me interested throughout.
My colleagues in all teams did their utmost to help me out and to make me feel welcome to the Doubletree family. The hospitality industry is based upon good customer service and mutual respect, so it would have been ironic if these values were not practiced between colleagues. Therefore, I felt highly valued throughout.
My supervisors and managers gave me a lot of help. Some teams naturally lend themselves to greater oversight. For instance housekeeping was very much supervised at the beginning and throughout. Human resources required more ad hoc work and finance was a bit more of an individually based job. Nevertheless, I received full support in all roles.
I was very busy in housekeeping but less busy in desk-based work, especially when I was working at the headquarters in Watford. This is probably unsurprising, but Hilton encourage a healthy work life balance and employee a sufficient number of employees including placement year students like myself to help maintain some degree of slack.
I was given a lot of responsibility and that increased through time. For instance, in housekeeping, I went from being heavily monitored to carrying out entire rooms cleans by the end of my placement year. Similarly, in desk based jobs, I was given a lot more responsibility when I became comfortable with Microsoft Office.
I developed a lot of skills in hospitality management which will stand me in good stead for the future. This included providing good customer service and other soft skills, to more technical things such as Microsoft Office training. I would say that it the placement will also help me massively in my final year of university.
There was a good atmosphere in the Watford headquarters - no office politics, since all employees are focused on providing a good service in an industry they are interested in. The company is always quite busy in responding to the seasonal demand for hospitality, but generally everyone copes well with the positive atmosphere.
It was well organised since the placement year is a well established feature of the Hilton HR process. This was evident from the initial application process - where candidates were selected according to their adherence to Hilton's values - to the very end - where most of us were offered jobs for when we finish university.
I feel that Hilton invested massively in us as they view every placement student as a potential full time employee. This was demonstrated by the fact that we were exposed to all divisions within the chain, and had an opportunity to develop both soft and technical skills. By the time I had finished me placement, I was deemed to be capable of returning as a full time employee.
Sports and Social Club
Good - Hilton are a group of hotel chains, so if I wanted to move from DoubleTree to a different subdivision of Hilton, it would be relatively easy - at least within the division one is working in. DoubleTree themselves are one of the most successful branches of the Hilton group.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Leisure and Hospitality