Sophomores get taste of work

LIHU’E – The real world came calling for some Kaua’i High School sophomores earlier this week, when they learned that being a professional means shutting off their cell phones and ditching adolescent behavior that comes naturally to people their age.

During a job-shadowing experience at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club, during a safety and professionalism briefing, they also learned also they must always act and look professionally while on the job, and not joke around.

These and many more points were brought forward to the students by Clarence Ariola, a loss-prevention agent at the resort who concluded his presentation with, “Do you understand?”

Silent nods of agreement answered the question as the students settled in to finish their breakfast before adjourning to be fitted in uniforms.

Ariola’s briefing followed a brief welcome by Bill Countryman, the resort’s new general manager.

Nearly a dozen Kaua’i High School 10th-graders started their school day Thursday in the porte cochere of the resort.

Students in the group were selected to be part of the resort’s Annual National Groundhog Job Shadow Day program, where the students spent the bulk of their school day shadowing professionals within the resort.

“We’re doing this for the experience,” one student said. “It’s so that we can find out what we want to be. And, it’s for the credit, too.”

The students explained that students in the entire 10th-grade class at Kaua’i High School have already experienced or would be experiencing the career-shadowing program, although not everyone will do it on the same day.

“We got chosen by doing a survey they gave us,” a student said. “But not everyone got to go where they wanted to.”

Jolynne Tsukamoto was the Marriott representative who made sure all of the students were matched up with associates in their host departments.

Jolene Ogle of the resort’s human resources department said the job-shadowing timing was perfect, as Marriott representatives were also on hand yesterday on the Kaua’i High School campus during a day-long career fair.

As the students adjusted their final fitting of their day’s uniforms, they agreed, “This should be easier than school.”

Valet Henry “Hank” Ibia Jr., who was on hand to greet his “shadow,” Jay Belarde, noted, “He’s going to work hard. But, we’re not that busy now, so it should be good.”

As Belarde set out to load a guest’s luggage for check-in, Kanae Kamibayashi, a Kaua’i Marriott employee in the bell and valet department, noted, “They never had anything like this when I was in school.”

Students who shadowed with Kaua’i Marriott culinary-department associates included Cole Okinaka, Dawson Okinaka, Keith Saniatan, Kimberly Calipjo and Jerald Colobong.

Shandon Cabinatan was assigned to the concierges, and Jennifer Albuja and Brianne Rualizo shadowed front-desk professionals, and Sarah Duterte was a hostess for the morning in one of the hotel restaurants.

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