From the moment you hear her talk for the very first time, you’d think My Place HQ intern Grace Jensen may have been hired long ago based on her passion for people and love for all things My Place. As she continues to leave an endless stream of bright ideas and smiles wherever she goes, Grace is an outstanding example of why we believe our team is so special. Learn more about Grace’s experience with us, so far, and explore the inner-workings of her brilliant mind in the latest installment of The Layover.
When you first started as an intern at My Place last Summer, what was your first impression of the brand on your very first day of work?
My very first impression of the brand was sitting with Ryan and going over the thought-out schedule he laid out for my internship this past summer. He took the time to walk me around each building and introduced me to all of the My Place HQ team members which made me feel right at home. It was abundantly clear that something genuine and exciting was going on. That impression continues to be unwavering to this day after having experienced and studied every puzzle piece of My Place’s ongoing success story.
What are some of the most important lessons that you have learned from your internship with the brand that you will take with you for the rest of your life?
The very first thought that comes to mind that I believe holds the most truth is authenticity. While always striving to be authentically myself, one could find it to be more difficult while working. Instead, My Place has created a space for this family to be comfortable with sharing any and all ideas, with each of us finding comfort in the open culture to share opinions and suggestions, knowing that we will not be judged or looked down upon.
If you could give your very own keynote speech at the next #MyPlaceCon, what would it be about and why?
This is definitely a hard one, because depending on how well you know me, you’d know that I LOVE to talk. I would give a keynote speech on my experience with the team thus far and discuss what I think happens inside these walls that makes each new day even more successful than the last one.
Where do you see My Place 10 years from now?
10 years from now, I see My Place’s culture relatively similar to how it is today: relational, personal, supportive, trustworthy, flexible, efficient, and most importantly: authentic. (And about 25,000 hotels bigger)
If you could open a My Place Hotel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Amsterdam, for sure. The market is always busy and lively and they are known for having a stable economy too. They are also one of Europe’s biggest transportation hubs, which could bring in a lot of traffic. Hostels are big there, so for people who don’t like hostels (me), a My Place would be a great, affordable option. Amsterdam also has an incredible amount of things to see and do. It’d be a win, win.
How do you Stay Rewarded?
I Stay Rewarded by watching the individual successes of each My Place property in our newly launched loyalty program. This past summer, nothing has been more exciting than seeing a hotel that had been slow to start find their groove and get some enrollments on the board.
What do you value the most about your experience with the team at My Place?
The PEOPLE! Being able to learn from a team of powerhouses that are constantly challenging you and aren’t afraid to call on you is incredibly valuable. I continue to learn a plethora of new things every single day, from how to gracefully handle any tough conversation to how to use more accurate words in an email to time management. I am able to observe every interaction and take away something new from every single one.
At what point did you really feel like you belonged at My Place?
Truthfully, the second I walked through the door. There was never a moment where I felt like an intern, I was always treated and listened to as if I was a part of the team. I was never timid to ask a question or to find an answer. Every single person had the time, even if they really didn’t.
If you could swap shoes for the day with one My Place team member, who would it be and why?
I would switch shoes with Matt Campbell – he is always doing something and working on a million different projects and always has something valuable and interesting to say. I could sit and listen to him talk all day, probably.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what song would it be?
Easy. “Going to Mars” by Judah and the Lion
Thoughts on socks with sandals?
Some people can really pull of this look, however, I am not one of those people. So for me: no.
If you could pick the location of the next #MyPlaceCon, where would it be?
Either Nashville or New Orleans!
What is the value of taking on internships in the field as a college student?
The value of taking internship opportunities cannot be measured. As an involved college student, I have taken away many lessons from my internship – the most important ones being people and presenting. All of the lessons I have learned have been vital in my growth and influence me every single day, both in the classroom and out of the classroom.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to continue to help America’s fastest growing hotel brand continue to grow and thrive and be a part of the fast movement that is happening there.