November 7, 2019

Internship spotlight: Charlene Ren, Refinery Hotel

Charlene Ren is a student in the BS in Hotel and Tourism Management at the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality. This semester, she is interning at Refinery Hotel. She tells us more about her internship in this post.

Where are you interning and what is your job title?

I am a dual intern for Finance and Human Resources at Refinery Hotel. 

What projects have you been working on so far? 

For the finance office, I have done work with A/P (accounts payable) and A/R (accounts receivable), dealing with invoices and checks. As for HR, we have THE FINEST, a monthly employee relations celebration. Everyone in the office can nominate an employee who they think has worked the best. This past month, we decorated the whole cafeteria and celebrated with a brain cake in accordance with Halloween. To celebrate the Fall season, we also had a pumpkin carving contest in which every department competed. Guests who came into the hotel nominated which pumpkin they think was most creative, and we just got the results today as to who won. 

What do you enjoy most about your internship so far?

The team and atmosphere. I have had many internships before, but for this internship, I feel that I have the best team ever. I like how the teams support each other and everyone’s eager to learn but also willing to give you advice. Finance is a pretty new area for me, but everyone has been really supportive and my work has been very interesting. For example, I have had a chance to look at Expedia from a finance perspective. As for HR, I have had a HR internship before, so in this internship, I have more responsibility to take on my own projects. For example, I lead the in-person interviews and have had a chance to do active recruiting through LinkedIn. 

Have there been any challenges in your internship thus far? If so, how have you learned to overcome them?

For HR, the biggest challenge has been talking to candidates since I have some issues talking to strangers. Last month, we were looking for managerial roles and being an intern, I felt less experienced interviewing these candidates. However, my manager pushed me to overcome this challenge which has made me more open to talking to candidates. Before I started conducting these interviews, I had a script that detailed everything I was going to say from my opening sentences to my closing sentences and would prepare all my questions to ask. After a few weeks, I found myself not having to rely on the script as much and have found I can lead the conversation much better and more naturally. 

What do you hope to take away from your internship

I want to learn more about finance since I haven’t had much experience. As for HR, I want to be more experienced handling employee issues. I hope to also get more creative and plan better events.

What are your future plans?

I am currently a senior, and I am preparing for graduate school. As for my future plans, I am still trying to figure out which department I fit in best. 

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