After being home in Holland only a month and a lot of paperwork it was time to move on to my next challenge. After some days off, a jetlag, visit to the social security office and an attempt to adjust to this hot and humid climate I had my first day as intern. I got a looot questions what I am exactly doing and who I work for so I will explain it quickly:
I am doing my graduation internship of 12 months (and thesis) in Hospitality Management for STARR Events, a company that does all sort events & catering for cultural institutions such as Carnegie Hall, New York Historical Society and art museums and institutions. My location is the New York Botanical Garden. There, we have about six food & beverage outlets where I work at wedding venues, restaurants, food trucks and events outside such as concerts and exhibitions. I actually have 2 positions: event supervisor and food&beverage supervisor.
I have done two weddings and they are impressive! People pay here between the 30.000-50.000 dollar for a wedding with about 150-300 guests and the standards are high. The first week I worked at a Jewish wedding and the second week at a (Long Island) Italian wedding, a bit like the Godfather. During the day florists come in, the band, wedding planner and so on so this is quite an organization. I already experienced rain (the ceremonies are outside in the garden), a crying bride and so on.
Our job is basically that everyone can keep doing his job. The band needing electricity, the kitchen needing stuff, the servants running out of food, the bars needing ice, the mom of the bride who is hungry etc etc. During other days we do more financial stuff and smaller events.
In these 2 weeks I already experienced a lot of differences with Holland. The first weekend I thought; wow is everyone doing sports here. Turned out people wear sportswear but without intending to do any sports. This is called ‘active wear’ . Then, New York is expensive as hell. I already knew it as I have been here before but wow I am shocked again.
At work there are much more ‘rankings’. People don’t do jobs of the people ‘below’ them. For example, if I ask a server to clean something, they probably refuse because it is an houseman’s job. If I ask someone ‘Can you do this for me’, I am rude. I need to rephrase like: ‘Oh hi could you do me a favour could you please move over the chairs? That would be great. Thank you so much I really appreciate it.’ Me as Dutchie really need to adjust!
I am very excited about the fact that the second language here in New York is Spanish, even sometimes the advertisements so I am speaking it a lot. Yesterday I got taught about the history about salsa and merengue from my Dominican Uber driver and some people at work only speak Spanish.
For now I am very happy how everything is going although it is hard work and a longgg commute. I walk around 10-12 km a day according to my iphone ;). Especially doing other stuff such as visiting rooftops and going for drink is a lot of fun but tiring. I will be moving a bit closer within 2 weeks and we have our first work trip planned with the management team to Hamilton, New Jersey. Everyone is really friendly and a bit crazy at times so I feel right at home.
To get an idea:
- www. starrevents.com is the company I am working for.
- http://www.nybg.org/about/private-events/ is the location I am working at, the New York Botanical Garden.