Catching up with Allison Brennan, the 2019 PCMA Capital Chapter Emerging Professionals Intern
The past two weeks I was given the opportunity to intern in the Sales Department of the historic Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, D.C. Throughout my experience, I was afforded the chance to shadow each department at the Shoreham, which enables the hotel to run like a well-oiled machine throughout one of their busiest times of the year.
My first two days at the Shoreham started with the Sale’s team. I had the chance to attend their morning sales meeting and their daily standup meeting. During this time, I was able to develop a greater understanding of which portion of the team is responsible for the various facets of leads which go into hotel sales. I really enjoyed watching the interactive way the team handled each lead, and the perspective in which each member contributed to a number of sales. It was enjoyable to see how supportive the group was with one another and the amount of effort that goes into making a sale at the Shoreham.
During my time with sales I was also given the opportunity to shadow a site visit with the Shoreham’s Diplomatic Sales Manager. This was a wonderful opportunity to see the preparation that goes into a site visit from the hotel standpoint vs the client side of the matter. I appreciated the relationship that the sales team is able to develop with potential clients and the hospitality that they are willing to provide each client by adjusting their site or stay expectations to individual needs.
Next up on my week of department rotation was the front desk! Their morning shift started at 7 am where I was able to check in and see how the team was able to efficiently streamline the constant flow of guests once checkout started. I was certainly able to appreciate the endless amount of patience and customer service that goes into being the face of the Shoreham following my time with the front desk team. The next portion of the day I had the opportunity to meet two of the longest working Shoreham employees and learn about their job of streamlining calls through and dispatching them to the departments around the hotel. I had the opportunity to also spend time with the concierge staff and to see first-hand the vital role their job plays to overall guest experience in a city as large as D.C. and a property with as large as the Shoreham.
Thursday was my day in housekeeping. The day started with the housekeeping standup which was proceeded by the housemen standup. It was interesting for me to see how the housekeeping staff breaks down each floor and which rooms are rotated to guest at the front desk pending their availability. The constant flow of circular communication between housekeeping and the front desk was something that I did not realize was as paramount as it was prior to my time at the Shoreham. I then had the chance to help with the housekeeping project going on in the bedrooms that has become a new focus since the newly renovated rooms at the Shoreham. I enjoyed going through the final operations process and seeing the absolute product of how beautiful each room was and the vast views that they offered of the gorgeous Woodley Park area.
Friday I was an honorary member of the catering team as they perfected yet again another successful annual client’s gala. I loved having the opportunity to work hands on with the staff and appreciated the trust that they had in me, as someone who had just started with the Omni four days before, to assist them in getting the job done. It was wonderful to have an up-close perspective that goes into a specialty event and the precision of execution from all of the departments in house. I also enjoyed seeing the partnership of the catering staff with the client and how they both worked together to produce a seamless and memorable event for both parties.
My final week with the Shoreham I was back full time with the sales team! I assisted them with a portion of induvial assignments, two overall team projects, and the first event to their outdoor summer music schedule. I was excited to be able to contribute to two developments that the team is going to be implementing over the next few weeks and months as an effort to enhance their sales tactics. I had a wonderful time working through both these projects with the Director of Sales and the Director of Rooms and truly apricated the trust that they also had in me to produce a strong finished product. It was a large compliment that they both trusted my ability to put my own individuality into these projects as I was coming in as an intern and not a seasoned sales professional.
The team environment at the Omni Shoreham is evident to every employee working there, but also to the guest that are residing there. Each employee takes on a responsibility that the Shoreham is their home or at least “home away from home” attitude which genuinely sponsors their current and past success. I am grateful for the lessons and time that I spent at the Shoreham and am honored that each department took me in as one of their own for the time that I spent with them!