Persistence , flexibility , entrepreneurial growth

I chose these words specifically because I honestly could not imagine three words that describe my 6 month experience better. The most significant moment of persistence from this experience was a sudden and unfortunate suspected case of COVID-19 at the establishment. As a team, we were able to practically strategise and work through this incident focusing on safety and limiting damages. This persistence through challenges remains to me a standout feature of this experience.

Secondly, flexibility. Dalina runs a dynamic and vibrant business, and with that she is immensely flexible and fast-paced, which she also demands from her team. I have found that this flexibility is integral to managing a large team and multiple singular-focused departments and projects. From day-to-day my activities were different, and there were constant surprises and challenges.

Finally, entrepreneurial growth. I have found a confidence in myself and my ideas that I never felt sure of before. The environment within this exchange was always so encouraging and focused on communal respect and growth, which I feel has really helped me to develop.

I have found working with Dali to be consistently a supportive, collaborative environment. I believe we worked well together as a team from the beginning, and only improved our professional relationship over time. I found the workplace during this exchange to be one of the most open and encouraging that I have experienced, with a very real and purposeful camaraderie instilled within the team where all staff from part-time restaurant staff to managers are encouraged to express their own ideas and be creative. Fair and respectful communication was the key, and made for an excellent working environment.

My expectations coming into this exchange were definitely matched. I was hoping to be able to learn from my host and get to experience the inner workings of a successful business. I was pleasantly surprised by just how extensive and varied this experience was and the amount I feel I have developed in this exchange.

I think that this experience has given me a strong foundational understanding of food and beverage management and the realities of day-to-day running of a catering establishment. I feel far more confident in my ability to foster relationships with the community, including neighbouring businesses, suppliers and employees, and in my own ideas and abilities.

I believe I was able to add a fresh perspective to the host company and implement new systems within the recruitment process and online marketing. I believe I helped shape the culture of the team to maximise productivity and success, as well as employee happiness.

I would absolutely recommend this experience to another entrepreneur. Being able to work directly with a successful entrepreneur has enriched my understanding of the many dimensions of successful business leadership. Moreover, the dedicated time to working on my business plan and achieving my professional goals under the guidance and collaboration of my host was incredibly beneficial. I cannot imagine another environment where I would have had the opportunity to be completely immersed in the development of one business, while still having the time and resources to expand my own.