PRESS RELEASE – They say that you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. This is the case for Malana Stephen, another SLHTA apprentice attached to Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa and Beach Resort.
We are pleased to introduce Malana Racquel Stephen, a very fun and extroverted young lady from the community of Labayee Bexon. Malana attended the Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary School in Dennery. Although it was her desire to acquire tertiary level education, it was just not possible for her at the time. After finishing secondary school, she got a job at ACS E-Services as a customer service representative for LIME where she worked for 2 ½ years.
Later, she found out about the Front Office Agent course which was being offered by Monroe College, which caught her attention. Since she always wanted to be a Front Office Agent, Malana decided to pursue her studies with Monroe College in her quest to become the next certified Front Office Agent, which she accomplished 4 years ago.
Growing up as a child in Labayee with a very stern grandmother, Malana had very little play time and she spent that time playing a teacher’s role with her teddy bears. So she grew up to be a very proud, disciplined and ambitious young woman.
After months of frustration being out a job, Malana found out about the SLHTA Apprenticeship Programme when she was tagged in a Facebook post about an upcoming job fair which was held at Bay Gardens Hotel back in April of 2015. There she met the SLHTA’s CEO Noorani Azeez who advised her that she should come to the SLHTA office to sign up for the programme and so she did just that.
Three months later, towards the end of July she received a call from Wendel George (Apprenticeship Coordinator) who informed her of an interview opportunity for an Apprenticeship with Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort. Malana admits that she was glad that it was a Sandals hotel because of the many opportunities for growth within their properties.
After receiving that call from Sandals, she was very excited that things were beginning to turn around for her, in not having to stay at home, dying out of boredom. Malana was placed at the Front Office where she observed the operations of the department. Later, she was placed as the telephone operator where she managed incoming and outgoing calls on the property. Malana’s stint as the telephone operator was prolonged because of her professionalism and excellent telephone etiquette.
Although she enjoyed working at the Front Office, Malana felt that she had a lot more potential and much more to offer. She wanted the opportunity to interact with the guests directly and more frequently, so Malana ensured that she seized every opportunity she got to serve a guest at the Front Desk.
After a few weeks at the front office, Marsha King the Training and Development Manager had her transferred to the Club Sandals department to finish her apprenticeship. Rohan Louis, the Manager of Club Sandals was quite happy to have Malana in her department. Malana loves working with Club Sandals because of the constant flow of guests walking in and out of the lounge.
“What motivates me is seeing people happy, and that’s the honest truth”, Malana continues, “knowing that you are making someone smile, that keeps me going for like a week”.
Malana sees herself growing as a professional in the hospitality industry and is confident that there will be many doors of opportunities for her. Malana’s smile and her positive energy rubs off on anyone she interacts with her and that has been one of her attributes for success.
Malana’s dream is to further her education because she appreciates the fact that the more educated you are, it increases your chances for better opportunities.
The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc wishes Malana Stephen much success in all her endeavours and encourages her to continue displaying the right attitude.