My spring-fresh Cobbers, how I have missed you! Welcome back from break! And for those of you here the whole time…Why didn’t you visit me? To be honest you would have had to actually schedule something because all I did was work or sleep. In case you were wondering, I work at the Courtyard by Marriott, over by Qdoba and Starbucks. I work the front desk, so I am the first person you see when you check in, and usually the person you converse with the most. I absolutely love my job because I learn about people in all walks of life. I also learned that we here in Fargo-Moorhead have a lot of business people. Though some of the things I have learned really apply to life.
For example, the number one thing I have learned at work is that it IS the small things in life. The fact that I can give someone the right directions somewhere, where to go to eat dinner, how to act like you belong and some small facts about this tundra we call home. I have guests come back from dinner raving about how JL Beers feels like a hometown dig. I have guests coming to Concordia for interviews and ask me where to go and how my life is at school. Having a real conversation is a small thing that can make a huge impact for a guest staying here on a hospital visit, for a woman visiting her kids, for people who fly all week only to be somewhere for a few days and for people from out of the country who just want someone to speak really BAD French with them. While being kind and having a light conversation with someone seems small, I know it has impacted quite a few guests.
Another big thing I have learned at work is no matter how small something is, be accountable for it. I have messed up big time, and I have done some great things. I was held accountable for it all. I have learned about the fact that I really need to focus more on details, but I need to keep up the work I do in getting to know people.
If you know me, you know I pride myself on knowing everyone, which applies to work at the hotel as well. I have lived in 20 different houses all over this great state, which means I can identify names and cities that guests know. I can sit and talk all day with guests about how awesome their tiny hometown of 50 is because I have genuinely been there.
Being curious can get you miles with a person too. When I have guests who do interesting work I am genuinely intent upon learning what they do. This has led to people showing me cool medical devices, telling me cool personal safety tips and many business cards have been thrown on my desk. I have even learned self-defense moves from a man who came up here to guest teach at an Mixed Martial Arts club up here.
These things, that I thought I already did well, have definitely improved because I can see immediate results. I think that as a 20—year—old I need to apply these things more in my daily life. Paying attention to detail, being accountable and being curious are three things that will help you land jobs, make friends and help you see where you need to work in your life.
Have a great rest of the week, and if you want, tell me some things you have learned in your jobs that have helped you live better.
Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.