We encourage the children in our care at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois to ask themselves “What do I want be when I grow up?” Some of our youth were able to explore that question in a real-life way at Swissôtel Chicago’s Career Day event on April 20, 2016. Seven of our 8th-12th graders from our Chicago and Roosevelt Square Villages participated in the day’s events, full of insight into the ins and outs of the hotel business.
Our youth toured the hotel and met employees from nearly every department. IT, engineering, kitchen, and housekeeping teams gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what they do to keep things running smoothly at all times. The main floor, human resources, and executive staff gave our youth a view into professionalism and how to conduct themselves with customers, colleagues, or during interviews.
Our 8th-12th graders were excited by how enjoyable the day was and how much they had learned. Highlights of the day included making personal pizzas with the Chef and kitchen team and learning how to fold napkins for banquet table arrangements. Our youth were highly engaged and soaked in the experience, eager to ask questions. One of our young men in particular, who has interest in becoming a pastry chef, made a meaningful connection with the Head Chef. Chef gave this young man his card and even shared some recipes.
Each Swissôtel employee showed the same high level of enthusiasm and interest. Many of them shared their own journey of starting in one position in one department, then working their way up to management, benefiting from professional development, and even enjoying opportunities for travel along the way.
We are so grateful to all Swissôtel staff who took time out of their day to meet with our youth. Your time and effort made for a very important introduction to career considerations for our young men and women. Thank you for expanding their knowledge and offering your encouragement.