Blenz Coffee Tradeshow 03-30-2010

On Tuesday, March 30th, I had the honor of accompanying one of the placement managers at INTERNeX to a Blenz Coffee Tradeshow at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Vancouver. It was definitely an eye opener and an amazing experience. As one of the suppliers for Blenz Coffee, it was important for us to prepare informative materials to these franchise owners such as preparing and designing brochures, contacting sponsors for prizes and creating slide show presentations. Definitely, a lot of prep work involved prior to the event, but it was so worth it.

Not only did I meet Blenz Coffee franchise owners, I witnessed a Blenz Coffee Iron Barista Competition and networked with a lot of other suppliers there. I also met a few Blenz Coffee employees that night. Near the end of the event, prizes were given out to franchise owners. INTERNeX submitted three prizes to this draw:

2 NIGHTS ACCOMODATION AT BANFF ROCKY MOUTAIN RESORT
Sponsored by Banff Rocky Mountain Resort

2 TICKETS TO CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Sponsored by Capilano Suspension Bridge

2 COMPLIMENTARY 1-DAY WHISTLER OR SEATTLE SHOPPING TOUR
Sponsored by West Trek Tours

This is the first tradeshow event I’ve ever been to and I must say, I absolutely loved the atmosphere and the environment.

I really enjoyed being able to tell the franchise owners about what INTERNeX is and how they can benefit from the use of our service. I had a great time meeting such fabulous people and can’t wait to go, “Hi, remember me!” the next time I walk into their coffee shop.

The event was a huge success with complimentary cocktails and appetizers. Oh, the perks of being an PR intern.

Shinya a.k.a MAX

So last week when I was trying to figure out our next potential candidate for the “expose” post, I was wracking my brain trying to find someone that could truly give us a glimpse into the “INTERNeX experience”. Little did I know but I had this person right in the office with me sitting across the room. Can you guess who it is? It’s Shinya! This once shy Japanese boy came to Canada and managed to see more places and do more things in one year then I’ve done in the past nine years that I’ve lived here. So yeah since he did just about everything that was possible and participated in every one of our programs he is the perfect candidate!

What is your name?
My name is Shinya but my “Canadian” name is Max

Where are you originally from?
Kobe, Japan

Why did you choose Canada as the location of your placement?
Well I’d been to Australia and New Zealand so Canada just seemed like the next stop for me

How did you find about INTERNeX International Exchange?
I found about it through the Japanese Embassy

Which program(s) did you participate in throughout your stay in Canada?
Well I actually participated in all three of the programs offered by INTERNeX

haha O.k. well let’s take this one program at a time then…What was the first program that you enrolled in?
Initially I started off with the hospitality program because I thought that this would be the best opportunity to improve my English skills and truly immerse myself into the Canadian culture. I was placed in Lake Louise, Alberta and for the first month I was a Dishwasher then when the second month came around I continued to do Dishwashing but in addition to this I was both a server and a clerk in the resort gift shop. After a total of 3 1/2 months working at the resort I moved back to Vancouver and applied for the PR/Communications internship offered by INTERNeX at their Vancouver office. The reason why I chose to taken on this position was because I thought that this would be able to take my experience to the next level and be that final step towards breaking me out of my shell. I was an intern at the office for 5 months but due to the fact that the internship was unpaid I had to find another means of gaining an income so I could continue to stay in Canada. Thankfully INTERNeX was gracious enough to set me up with a coffee shop located just a few blocks away from the office in Gastown. It was at this location that I worked as a Barista for 4 months. Then during the 2009 Christmas Break I decided since I’d already done the other two programs why not do it all…so i enrolled in the Ranchstay program. For two weeks I was placed on a mixed farm in Montana where I had many “firsts”. For the first time in my life I rode horses, fed cows, herded buffalo and took care of numerous farm animals. This was definitely something that will stay with me forever. And last but not least, most of you know that Vancouver was the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics so before I returned home I thought what better way to end my trip then to try and get a job in the Olympics…so that’s what I did. I hired on as a member of the event service staff who were responsible for assisting media personnel and essentially acting as security by ensuring that everyone had the correct accreditation in order to gain entrance into the media tent. Throughout the few weeks that I worked there I met a considerable amount of athletes/celebrities. Some of the most memorable ones are Aiko Uemura, the Japanese Mogul Skier, Russian Figure Skating silver medalist, Evgeni Plushenko, Gold Figure Skating Couple, Tesse Virtue & Scott Moir, and last but not least BC Premier, Gordon Campbell

What was one of your most memorable moments of your entire stay?
I would have to say it was throughout my entire hospitality placement. It was such an entirely new and scary experience for me. For the first time in my life I was living all by myself in a foreign country where I knew no one. At first it was really hard but the staff that I worked with soon enough became my family and all my previous fears were completely gone!

If you to choose one program that you would recommend, which one would it be and why?
The internship program because it really helped me to grow on both a personal and professional level. Even though it is not a paid position the benefits that you reap are invaluable and it truly helped me to make lifelong connections with people from all over the world. Every day I was exposed to something new and I cannot even begin to explain how this has made me who I am today

What are some of the skills that you gained from your internship placement?
Good customer service skills, communication skills both intra and inter personal, building trust and numerous web site building skills

What one place/event/festival would you encourage people to check out?
Definitely Stanley Park. This amazing park, less than a mile from downtown Vancouver, is one of the city’s main tourist attractions and offers over 1,000 acres of an evergreen oasis. The park is full of wildlife and sometimes there is just nothing better then just to relax and take in the natural surroundings…it truly made me forget at times that i was still in the city

So what are you planning on doing once you return home to Kobe?
First i am planning on going back to University and to continue on with my environmental studies and I am also working on maintaining my connection with INTERNeX by recruiting Japanese University Students for the Ranchstay program. So it’s not really over yet…

If you have any more questions or queries about our programs please do not hesitate to contact us at the office:

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: info@internexcanada.com

The INTERNeX Invasion

Good afternoon! So i have some great news to share with you all…INTERNeX was recently featured in the “The Baristar” monthly company newsletter. Blenz has been the recipient of many of our wonderful candidates so it is great to hear that our positive experience is not going unnoticed.    

Have you noticed many European accents at Blenz lately? In preparation for the Olympics and to be able to serve all the extra people in Vancouver efficiently, almost all businesses in the city have been hiring and training personnel for the past couple of months. At Blenz Coffee we have been working with INTERNeX International Exchange, a work experience placement organization that works closely with Northern Europe to find job placements for young people. These exchange workers come from countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Czech Republic. It was the perfect time for Blenz to work with INTERNeX to find excellent new staff. When you go to Blenz Coffee location you may be served by the smiling face of an employee hired through INTERNeX.

Be sure to strike up conversation with an INTERNeX staff member and hear their impressions of Vancouver. Simone from Holland, working at Blenz Fairview, says she loves Vancouver coffee culture and finds it funny to hear locals call a cafe “coffee shop” because in Holland that is a place that has nothing to do with coffee (hint: Amsterdam). Emil from Denmark, working at Blenz West Hastings, says his experience as a barista at Blenz has changed him and would like to pursue being a barista when he goes back home. Moshdeh, also from Holland and working at Blenz Robson, lives in one of the INTERNeX staff houses and shared a funny story. She came walking down the stairs of her house one day to find six people (all Blenz employees) sitting around totally absorbed and entertained by the Blenz Recipe Guide Training.

I hear they throw good parties at the INTERNeX staff houses-maybe you can find a way to get invited ;)DVD.

By Layla Osberg

Candidate Expose-Matt

Hey, so since the start of our Staff introductions was such a success i thought i would take the next step and introduce to you some of our current/past candidates who have had such great experiences with in their programs and in Canada in general that they want to share their stories with you! So our first interviewee is Matt, he is the Vancouver Staffhouse manager. I’m sure most of you know of him or have met Matt personally but for those of you who haven’t then here is a little peak into his experiences with INTERNeX.

What is your name?
Matthias Weigel

Which program are you currently participating?
City placement at Blenz Coffee Shop

Are you enjoying it? Why?
I am really enjoying working at Blenz Coffee shop. They have a great training program that truly encourages us employees to have a strong work ethic, good communications skills and ultimately great life skills.  The initial training provided is 1 day at the training center, with ongoing training that is also provided every 2 months to asses and improve our skills. There are 3 levels of employees;  Junior, Senior and Master level. I have recently been promoted to the Senior Barista position and i am really proud of myself for achieving this. I think this is a great way to spark a healthy sense of competition amongst employees and it has truly allowed me to excel in a way i did not expect. If you choose to participate in this training program you will be trained, as i was, by Layla who was the 2 time World Free Pour Latte Art Champion. So this was a huge honor to be trained by a true professional. Also throughout my employment at Blenz i have truly been able to build on my customer service skills. The people here in Vancouver are so genuinely open that it’s been really easy to serve them but boy do they have some crazy drink orders!

What kind of experience are you gaining from this experience?
I have actually grown up for a significant portion of my life in the customer service industry since my parents owned a restaurant themselves. Therefore, i am pretty familiar with this whole customer centered environment; however, surprisingly enough working in a Coffee Shop is completely different. I have learnt a lot of stuff from Blenz, particularly in terms of management so it is my dream now to own my own restaurant later on in life. Hopefully, one day this dream will come true.

What do you like the most about Canada?
Well it’s hard just to choose one thing so i’m not even going to try lol. I have been to so many incredible places in Canada some of my favorite places were Victoria where i went whale watching and that was breathtaking and really reminded me of the movie Free Willy. I also went to Whistler and did some snowboarding and then last but not least i loved Tofino where i went surfing. Everywhere i’ve been has truly been magnificent because i’ve been exposed to so many of the beautiful sites in Canada and i love all the nature i’ve been blessed to see.