Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR

Q&A with Paméla: Work Abroad in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Share this
Print this
Paméla
Work Abroad in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
ESG UQÁM Montreal
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
The best advice is to adapt yourself to your new environment, but also try to use your professional background to improve the business.
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
Social inequality was fierce and challenging. I focused on my job, and then before leaving, I donated.
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
I tend to speak fast. I learned to slow down. As a manager, you have to make sure your employees understand you. Modifying my communication was important.

When and where did you work abroad? What was your position? 

I worked as Assistant Manager for Sir Harry’s Restaurant & Lounge in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2014 and 2015.

What made you want to work abroad?

I have been traveling, studying, volunteering and interning abroad for a decade. Working professionally abroad was the next step for me. I was looking for a challenge and a life-changing experience. I had an opportunity to make the move to Central Africa, so I took it.

How long did it take you to find a job and what job-search strategies did you use? Did you work in your field of interest?

It took me a couple of months to get the job, officially. Having contacts is very useful when you’re looking for a job overseas. I completed my B.B.A with a specialization in Hospitality; and working in the restaurant industry was definitely my field of interest. I followed that professional interest abroad.

Describe the application, interview, and selection process. What made you successful?

Because of the time zone difference, my interview took place at 6am via Skype. Being open and flexible for your potential employer is important. Having French as a first language was definitely one of the skills that helped me get hired in the Congo.

What was the biggest surprise about your work experience abroad?

No surprises, just be open-minded and ready to learn!

Did you participate in extra-curricular or social activities through your work abroad? If so, how did they differ from social activities in your home culture?

I was working for Indians, so the main social activity was playing cricket!

What made your work experience abroad a success?

I arrived prepared to work hard, learn new skills and new ways of working. I implemented social media marketing strategies and increased sales for the company. I guess my best advice is to adapt yourself to your new environment, but also try to use your personal and professional background to benefit and improve the company you’re working for.

How did you finance your trip abroad and did you find any creative solutions to stay on budget?

Luckily, there was no need to pre-finance my trip; and interesting perks were included in the job offer. After spending lots of time abroad already, I know how to creatively cut my expenses. A panini griller and 12 types of lotion are not necessary, look after your real needs.

Do you have a story from your workplace that gave you particular insight into your host culture?

Having contacts is everything in the DCR! If you want anything done, or to move forward, it’s extremely important to know people. Networking is the best tip there is for success.

What was the biggest challenge in adapting to your international work environment?

Social inequality was fierce and challenging. I focused on my job, and then before leaving, I donated.

How did you deal with the cultural divide in the workplace?

I kept a strong sense of humor. Seriously, even as a French speaker, I couldn’t understand all the local expressions. Just being patient, accepting my host culture, and laughing about the challenges.

What was the most important thing you learned about communicating in a foreign culture while you were working abroad?

I tend to speak quite quickly, so I learned to slow down. As a manager, you have to make sure your employees understand your directives, so learning to modify my communication was important.

What did you miss most about home?

Obviously, my family and friends. I also missed my freedom and independence. In Kinshasa, safety was also a major concern. Walking somewhere was almost impossible for me. That was an adjustment.

What is your number one tip for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps by working abroad?

Just do it. You will enhance your career and learn a lot!

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career? 

I am currently working as a Hospitality Consultant in India. In July, I will start my MBA in Bangkok, Thailand. Global challenge accepted!

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher, MyWorldAbroad

Paméla is clearly a natural born globe trotter! She has chosen a career that’s brimming with travel potential, and understands that the more international experience she develops, the richer her personal and professional lives will become. We want to commend and congratulate Paméla for accepting “the global challenge”!

We’d recommend that she continue on her current path towards earning an MBA in Thailand, and that she also make an effort to build her professional networks while studying. Adding language skills or teaching skills to her portfolio would also add to her future career potential. Perhaps Paméla could consider using part of her school holidays to engage in new or different activities in her current host country – for instance, volunteering or interning with a different type of organization, rather than sticking with those in the hospitality industry. Keep in mind: Sometimes stepping out of your professional comfort zone for a few days, weeks or months can also add a fresh new dynamic to your chosen career path! We wish you continued success on your international adventures!

• Check out our advice on the importance of networking: The Importance of Networking

• While you are on your international adventures, make sure to keep your online profiles updated: Your Online Presence

• Here’s our overview for job hunters in Asia: Asia Pacific for the Mobile Adventurer

Paméla's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
In a Rush? Read These Articles First
These carefully chosen articles will lead you to our most important go abroad strategies!
Discover the Career Value of Going Abroad
Get the facts! See surveys and stats linking your experiences abroad to future career success.
Sample Application Documents: See How Others Did It!
Get inspired by actual documents that real students used to apply for internships, volunteer positions and other go abroad experiences.
The World Online
Want to stay in touch with the world? Check out these top (and sometime quirky) links!
Quick Guides! Our Most Popular Go Abroad Topics
View, print or share our easy-to-use guides available in English, French and Spanish.
What's Your International IQ?
How much do you really know about living and working abroad? Take this quiz to find out!
Are You Prepared for the International Job Search?
How much do you know about international jobs in your field? Get ready for a targeted job search!
Do You Have Enough International Experience?
Have you maximized your international experience? Are you ready for the international job search? Find out!
Quizzes: Your Master Scorecard
Check your scores for all quiz categories: international skills, experience & the job search.
Career-Boosting Strategies for International Students Studying in North America
What does it take for an international student to succeed in North America? We’ve got tips to help you thrive!
Earn $25 Gift Card & Submit Your Story From Abroad
Been abroad? Want to share your story? Submit your Q&A today to see your experience online!
Self-Evaluations: Think Analytically About Going Abroad
Keep track of your evolving international skill set before, during and after your international experience. Be ready to apply for jobs in the global economy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to all your questions about MyWorldAbroad by diving into our Frequently Asked Questions section.
Your International Resume & LinkedIn
Write your international resume first, and then create that all-important LinkedIn profile.
Top Tips on Going Abroad & Your Career
Scan our top tips in 40 go abroad subject areas: international skills, getting experience, finding work, and the professions.
International Skills: Be More Than Just a Tourist!
International people have a unique skill set. Learn the terminology and get professional about describing your time abroad.
100+ Career-boosting Strategies While Abroad
Discover enterprising, innovative ideas for how to demonstrate your international skills to future employers.
11845
- # of # Filtered -
  • 81
81
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
1
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
2
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
3
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
4
10851
Tips From Tasmania
5
9807
Fast Friendship In Korea
6
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
7
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
8
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
9
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
10
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
11
9784
Skill-Building In Bonn
12
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
13
9762
American Freshman In London
14
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
15
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
16
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
17
9741
Adapting To Work In Peru
18
9773
Independent In India
19
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
20
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
21
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
22
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
23
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
24
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
25
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
26
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
27
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
28
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
29
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
30
9771
Learning To Love London
31
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
32
9737
Passionate About Panama
33
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
34
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
35
9787
A Spring Semester In London
36
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
37
10192
Out And About In Paris
38
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
39
10157
Changing Course In China
40
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
41
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
42
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
43
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
44
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
45
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
46
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
47
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
48
9753
A Season In Sweden
49
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
50
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
51
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
52
9752
Giving In Guatemala
53
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
54
9748
Adventure In The Alps
55
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
56
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
57
9754
Building Memories In India
58
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
59
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
60
9765
Simpatico In Florence
61
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern In Rome
62
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
63
9756
Springtime In Spain
64
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
65
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
66
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
67
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
68
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
69
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
70
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
71
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
72
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
73
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
74
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
75
9817
A Bulgarian In England
76
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
77
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
78
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
79
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
80
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
81
11845
All Job Boards
436
All NGOs
1503
Au Pair Resources
31
Awards and Grants Resources
27
Business and Finance Job Boards
64
Business Directories
20
Canadian Federal, Provincial and Territorial Government Profiles
64
Canadian Government Resources
26
Children and Families Abroad
20
Country Guides
51
Cross-cultural Skills
101
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
55
Expatriate Networking Sites
20
Foreign Students Working in the US
8
Freelancing Abroad
23
General Job Search
23
Global Education and Social Action
29
Health and Medicine Job Boards
51
Health Career Resources
37
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
31
International Development Career Resources
43
International Internship Job Boards and Advice
45
International Internship Organizations
285
International Internships and Student Programs With Canadian Governments
34
International Internships With the US Government
39
International Job Hunting Resources
13
International Law Careers Resources
81
International Law Job Boards
21
International Studies in the US and Canada
10
International Trade Resources
28
International Volunteer Organizations
443
Internships With the UN and Other IGOs
137
Language Careers
30
Learn a Language
98
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
28
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
13
Loans for Studying Abroad
12
Low-cost Travel
28
NGO Directories
32
NGO Job Boards
41
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
138
Relocating Abroad
19
Resources for International Students Studying in the US or Canada
43
Stories From Abroad
81
Study Abroad Resources
165
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
105
Teach English Abroad Resources
59
Tools for Travelers
39
Top International Blogs
40
Travel Health and Safety
37
UN and Other IGOs
219
UN and Other IGOs Job Boards
16
UN and Other IGOs Resources
17
US Government Profiles
79
US Government Resources
33
Visas and Passports
16
Volunteer Job Boards and Advice
53
Women Living and Working Overseas
15
Working Vacation Resources
56