Multicultural Friendships: Reflections from Carolina de Bivar

on September 7 | in | | with No Comments

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Hi everyone, it’s me, Carolina de Bivar from the BBA in Hospitality and today I would like to share a bit of my experience as a BBA student at Les Roches Marbella. Hopefully, I can keep it short and sweet so Mr. Burton doesn’t fall asleep when he reads this post (lol – my colleagues know what I mean).

Even though four years have already passed since I began my studies at LRM, it feels like yesterday. I still recall how nervous I was on my first day of school. After all, leaving my home, friends, and family behind to pursue a dream took a lot of courage. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means. But, in a matter of days my fears were gone and before I knew it I was bonding new friendships and already experiencing many unforgettable moments that have, to this day, enriched my life like few others.

As quick as the blink of an eye I found myself entering my second year, the best year of all (or at least we thought).  We were convinced we had overcome all the obstacles and we were now on top of the world. There were no more dishes to wash, no more floors to mop and no more serving tables at 7:00 in the morning – life seemed pretty perfect in year two. But in the end it was hard work, extremely enlightening, but hard nonetheless.  I mean hey, can any of you say that cooking was easy? I have to admit my mom always made it look that way, but in the end what we heard most in kitchen operations class was, “Please guys, don’t do a big C in my kitchen”. Perhaps it wasn’t as friendly as I’m putting it right now, but don’t worry Mr. Pattrucco, we didn’t take it personally. 

As time went flying by we found ourselves immersed in year three and finally we were free from the chains of early morning MEP and kitchen duties. The practical side was nearly over (barring a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year) and we were now extremely enthusiastic to apply our “Big Boss” skills as managers.

Unfortunately, this was also the year that some of our colleagues finished the diploma program and began their professional careers beyond LRM. Some good friends parted ways at the end of the year, but some of us made the choice to stay on another year and take advantage of the BBA’s added potential.

By year four, we had created a close knit multi-cultured group who learned a great deal about each other. Forgive me for poking fun, but some of the most memorable and usually funny revelations we shared were:

1. In Russia, there is always a superstitious explanation for every single you do.
2. Spanish people (sorry guys but you gotta love it!) find it hard to pronounce English words that begin in H or S.
3. In Zaragoza guys have a unique way of dancing (lol).
4. And of course, the Italians…well, they sleep a lot and eat even more!
5. Then there are the Dutch. They don’t really know how to speak Dutch, but they sure do speak Mandarin well.
6. Let’s not forget that in South America girls are tinny, but they have huge hearts.
7. As for my friend Charles the Englishman – you guys think you are so funny and know it all but we’ve learned that this isn’t always the case.
8. There are also the Algerian people. They don’t talk much, but when they do it is very much worth listening to.
9. If it weren’t for the Jordanians who are always willing to share their food, some of us would have died from hunger.
10. Then we have Canada. Well basically, what happens in Canada happens everywhere else.
11. And finally, the Portuguese. Since I’m Portuguese and this is my article, I’ll leave them out of it. Although some of might say that the girls from the countryside are always looking to live Cinderella’s story and the girls from the north, well, maybe I should leave them for another time.

Anyways, with such a unique and interesting group of friends by my side, year four was a breeze. We had begun to get a firm grasp of the work involved in being hospitality professionals. Our experience from internships had given us confidence and the direction we wanted our careers to take was now clear.

Although my development as a professional in the hospitality industry means a great deal to me, in the end what means the most is each and every moment I spent with my friends at Les Roches. Today, I view them as my second family and without them none of this would have been the same – and not nearly as fun!  So, as we take our next step in this adventure and begin proving ourselves in the industry, I strongly believe that our lives will meet again and again and again and again…

And from the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you the best success and I hope to see you all soon!

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