「WISE OWL HOSTELS' HITO」A Korean, former Intern of Disney, and a front desk staff.
「WISE OWL HOSTELSのHITO」is a series of article that introduce Hito (people) who works in WISE OWL HOSTELS.
In WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO, almost 80% of the guests are from overseas. And compare to other hostels, Korean guests are significantly increasing by days. There must be several reasons for that, but probably it is simply because there is a Korean STAFF in this hostel.
Today, we would like you to meet Huntack, “Tech”, Kong, who became a STAFF since this spring.
-Please say hi to everyone.
Hello, my name is Huntack Kong from Korea, and I started working at WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO since this sping. Here, I go by Tech as a nickname. Nice to meet you all J
-Would you like to introduce yourself?
Sure. I came to Tokyo as a working holiday, after graduate from College of Hotel and Tourism in Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. I have got working permit from WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO since then, and become a Full-time STAFF. Before my life in Tokyo, I had various working experience such as Asiana Airline, Daelim Museum in Korea, and also in Walt Disney World, FL, USA as an internship program when I was an exchange student in University of Central Florida. I even have finished military service as, luckily enough, a front desk position at Military Welfare Hotel for almost 2 years. Since I majored Tourism from high school, I could participate in numerous service industries and my sociable, impartial characteristic helped me doing it a lot.
-How come have you start to work in WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO?
I decided my adventure to Tokyo simply because of Disney. I was captivated by Walt’s vision after my internship with Disney, therefore I started to study Japanese to get a working holiday VISA. Unfortunately, there is no Disney in Korea, so Japan is the best option I had.
To be honest, having decided to live in another country was tough call, but I thought ‘now or never’. I got a part-time job from Disney Store, and made Japanese friends. It was short while after when I happened to know WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO. I mean, I really love owls, and I met Hachi the owl right next to the reception desk, watching me with her googly eyes when I went to the hostel for the first time for a job interview. It feels like I am destined to work here.
I was so terrified to be failed to get a job offer after interview. At the interview, I think my English skills-a work experience in the States with TOEIC 980-and the fact that I am a native Korean are quite appealing for this position. I was overjoyed when I got a call from the hostel that I got it.
Starting from a part-timer, I was able to become a full-timer staff with many helps from managers and fellow staff.
-What is your job exactly? What kind of stuff are you doing currently?
I am a front desk staff, specialized in inbound guest relation. Plus, I recently became a leader of the event team. Even though I am familiar with working in accommodation industry since I have an experience at the hotel, the atmosphere of the hostel was quite somewhat foreign to me. The key is, I dare say, a distance between the guest and the staff. It is more like building a friendship and we offer most of the things what you offer to your friends from outside of the town. I need different method of guest service from Japanese or Korean, which is more friendly and casual. My personal experience of studying and internship in the United States helped me a lot.
On the other hand, being a leader of event team is something I cannot do by my own. So, I am getting help from former leader and other staff for now. Yet, if guests acknowledge this hostel by my event and they even become one of our repeaters just because they had a blast in my event, it would be the best reward that I can get.
-Is there anything you want to say to everyone?
If you are the one who has various experience in overseas and skills to speak English but have no chance to use those, I want you to join us and prove what you can do.
Languages are tools need to be polished and readied. Or else, they would become rusty and be forgotten. My English was also got rusted after I came back from the US, as I scarcely use it in daily life. I did meet customers from overseas in other jobs, but it was not enough. However, in WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO, I could find my sense of English back while having conversation with guests from across the globe. You know, mastering foreign language is not all about remembering vocabs and grammar. You need to know their culture, nuance, sarcasm, humor, etc. to fully understand what they actually want to say. It is more like a matter of sense rather than a knowledge so you need to confront with real person who use it. It is possible to do it every day while you work here in the WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO. Fascinating isn’t it?
As a native Korean speaker and having studied English for more than 10 years, frankly, Japanese is my weakest one in the matter of language. Yet, everyone in WISE OWL HOSTELS TOKYO shows they have their trust on me and encourage me to excel my performance of what I can do. I have worked in many places but this kind of trust is hard to get from elsewhere. It is really hard to find this kind of workplace in these days, you know.