Student blog (part 3): Work experience… and learning a new language

By Aaron Riding and Sophie Van Hooven

UCM students, Aaron (BSC Hons Finance and Accounting) and Sophie (BS Hons Event Management and Marketing) are currently on an unforgettable internship at Pine Lake Marina, situated in the heart of the Garden Route National Reserve, one of South Africa’s glittering gems. This is their blog.

Day 4-9:

Our first week of work was conducted in separate departments.


I was stationed in the reservations department, which was the main hub of activities. I answered phone and email enquiries, and checked in guests.  I was also involved in promoting special rates the resort is offering over the school holidays, which required me to review and amend the existing promotion copy and then disseminating the promotion to prospective customers.


I worked in the administration and finance department where I processed daily cash receipts and card transactions of Pine Lake Marina and Sedge Links Golf Course.

Processing the receipts and handling cash was a useful task to undertake. I have never handled cash in a work environment before and therefore, found it interesting to learn not only how cash is handled in the office but also the processes in place to ensure that cash is recorded, kept safe and tallied accurately, at all times.

I also reconciled accounts, which will be used by auditors. Although the work was long and tedious, it rewarding to complete a task that has an important purpose.

On Thursday, we went to Brenton Haven, the sister resort of Pine Lake Marina, which we will be staying at for three weeks.  We were introduced to the work that we will be undertaking during that time, which includes market research, marketing activities and supplier analysis.

Our work colleagues have been teaching us Afrikaans. We are now able to say, ‘My name is Aaron. I don’t speak Afrikaans’, which is really handy!

Now, when we greet someone ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ we say it in Afrikaans and in return we receive a lot of smiles from our co-workers.