I applied to Our Chalet on a bit of a whim, I wanted to do something different in my year out of studying and wanted to travel and explore somewhere new. I’m not too sure how I ended up on the Our Chalet website browsing volunteer opportunities, but the role of Guest Services Intern caught my eye and I applied. The rest of the application process was pretty quick and at the beginning of February 2015 I found out that I would be the Spring Guest Services Intern starting on Thinking Day 2016 (I leaped with joy, made a little excited sound and cried slightly).
And now here I am I cannot believe how quickly this whole experience has gone. I was incredibly nervous coming here, simply because I was going into the unknown but it has been an amazingly beautiful adventure and I’ll probably shed a tear when I leave.
The title of this post is perhaps a bit misleading, simply because there’s no way I can describe a standard day being GSI. There are certain things I have to do, but the beauty of the role is that I get to potter about the grounds, take on random requests and interact with all of our guests and visitors. Apart from the first day or two of the month when I close myself away in the shop and count up all the stock I can confidently say I never know what I’m going to be doing each day. I’ll always check and respond to my emails, but after that it really depends on what’s been going on in the Chalet.
If we have recently said goodbye to some visitors I take the time to analyse their evaluation forms and see how wonderful everyone thinks we are, and if we have guests arriving throughout the day I check them in and welcome them to Our Chalet. The one place where I am largely responsible for is the shop; I make sure it’s looking neat and tidy, keep it restocked and when deliveries arrive I have to count it and find a home for it.
My job isn’t just counting though; throughout my time here I’ve been a bit creative. I’ve made a Grace Booklet with some traditional and some modern graces, a welcome booklet for vollies and interns, redone some of the signs around the Chalet and I’m currently creating a new poster about volunteering for the WAGGGS room. I’ve also worked towards my staff challenge which has been lots of fun and included jumping in the bins, lighting a fire with only one match and lots more.
My most favourite random job that I’ve had to do so far is help Stelios (the Grounds and Maintenance Assistant) with the snow BBQ at Engstligenalp. If I were a guest I would find that experience truly magical, and would really encourage anyone visiting in winter on programme to opt for that if they can. On the way back from the BBQ site I got to sit on the large white sledge and get pushed through the snowy forests by Stelios, our grounds and maintenance assistant, whilst I screamed, laughed and felt like a child again.
I think I’ve covered the big main elements of my job, there are lots of other little things I do and sometimes I muck in with the Vollies and help keep Chalet looking sparkly and clean. There’s no typical day for me and that makes the job even more enjoyable, I get to throw myself at lots of random tasks. If you’re sat there reading this thinking you would enjoy the role then stop reading and go and apply!
Georgina Smith – Our Chalet Guest Services Intern Spring 2016