Felix Santiago began the Work Experience Program in May of 2016. He had been employed by numerous food and restaurant franchises in the past and had recently been laid off a seasonal job on the RPI campus. Because of the job being seasonal and temporary, he found himself unemployed once again and with little money to live on while he looked for another job. “I was stressed out at the time, but I knew that I would find work somewhere. The question was where and when. After searching for a couple of weeks with little success, I decided to stop by the W.A.G.E. Center for some help or guidance. It was there that I found out about the Work Experience Program.”
Surely, that was the beginning of Felix’s story. Felix met with the program manager for career counseling, updating his resume, and to discussion about participating in the Work Experience Program. For Felix, this was perfect timing. The W.A.G.E. Center, in partnership with the Renaissance Hotel, established the hotel as a training site for the W.E.P. internships in the hospitality and food service industry. Since Felix had lots experience in the food service industry, he was willing to train at the Renaissance Hotel with the hopes and dreams of landing employment there after the internship. “The W.A.G.E. Center was great. Everything was set up for me. The W.E.P. program manager provided a lot of support. He updated my resume, set up the initial interview with the HR Director, and provided me with black pants, shirts, a belt and non-skid work shoes after I landed the internship. For two weeks, I was able to train and show the Food and Beverage Managers that I was reliable hard-working person who was willing and capable of doing the job and taking on any task given to me.”
Felix trained for two weeks as an unpaid intern. He was punctual, dependable, and flexible as mentioned by the managers who asked him to work various shifts. By the end of two weeks, the HR Director and Shift Managers met and decided to offer Felix a full-time job in the Food and Beverage Department. Today, Felix continues to work at the hotel. His dedication and great personality truly exemplifies the spirit of customer service and hospitality, and aspires to the hotel’s belief that all of their employees are ambassadors.