Written by J-1 Trainee Angelica Coliat

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Going back, I thought  I will never be able to go back here in US. I had the most amazing 3 months as a J1 in Sedona 3 years ago. I always thought of coming back and doing my traineeship here. And so, after a year working,  I decided to pursue my ultimate goal which is to be back in US. There my journey begins… 6 months of waiting and here  I am back to my dream, “welcome back to the U.S.A.”

Amangiri Resort, Spa and Villas, is one of the most renowned hotels in the world. Scary to think, but yes I will be having my traineeship here. I struggled so much at first. I started at night and I was scared because I heard so much about the night shift as difficult, a lot of studying, and having a very strict supervisor. I am curious and scared at the same time. Working at night, I’ve learned how to be confident, learn about wines, food, and how to discipline myself.

I started as a back server with very little knowledge about serving. I felt like I became the worst back server. Nobody even wants me as their assistant during service. I’ve been called as “butterfingers” because  I keep breaking stuff. Every day was a challenge that affected my self-confidence and wore me out. I become insecure. Until one day… I got tired, absolutely tired. I just gave up. One day, I see myself asking why I am not a front server? I forgot one thing, trusting myself. I got lost with all the things that I did wrong. I never appreciate what I did right. So, I picked up myself. I studied hard. I tried again. My supervisor helped me out. She trained me as a front server and after that a whole new chapter opens up.

TRANSITION. It was hard. The pressure of having to look out for every single detail in your section drives me insane. This includes tables, settings, markings,  helping out your back server, and having guests with thousands of allergies and preferences. And knowing them by heart I’ve grown so much, from a little kid to a full grown woman who has a vision, and being the softest server to being the toughest one. I’ve come to realize that everything happens for a reason. I’ve come to appreciate all the hardship that I’ve been through when I was still a back server. It helps me a lot. I now have a heart of a dedicated passionate server. From hating to loving it, day by day I learned from my guests and my coworkers. Everyday has been a new learning experience. Time passes by so fast.

PROMOTION. “What do you think about being the Head server?” Heart beating fast, my boss just asked me this. Am I ready? For all the bigger responsibilities that lies ahead? More challenges? More struggles? I have to be an example and a good leader to my coworkers. If something happens, it’s all on me. I’ve become even more responsible in decision making. This helps me not just at work, but even in life.

ON GOING. Now I am still looking for things that I need to improve in myself each day. I am thankful for everything that has been my way. Thank you CCI for making it all happen. And of course to POEC and my Amangiri family. To God be the glory. For those aspiring students, graduates, don’t hesitate to go beyond your limits. If you think you can do it, push yourself even more. No weak. No strong. It’s just a matter of  self-discipline. So what are you waiting for? Let’s all reach for our dream!

Learn more about the J-1 Intern and Trainee program!