Success Story Series: Totalstay

We know that these success stories are usually from the perspective of interns, but we wanted to mix things up and give you some insight into the minds and lives of our Trusted employers. 

Totalstay is an accommodation management company, dealing mostly in Airbnbs and micro-hotels –  they manage the marketing, the actual property, and its reservations. 

Check them out here.

Rael and James are partners and both run Totalstay, who recently hired 3 interns through Trusted Interns. Apart from how fast it happened, they loved how personalised and hands-on the employment process was, and said that Trusted Interns is their first port of call when they need extra hands on deck. 

Déjà vu

You know that feeling you get on the first day of high school when you look at the big, scary matrics and you just can’t fathom what it must be like to have your life together and be as wise as them? 

Your first day as an intern, interacting with other employees and your boss, often brings this feeling right back. 

But we’ve got good news. Even those big, scary, omniscient bosses of yours felt those feelings too. 

Everyone has to start somewhere – one of the bosses of Totalstay, Rael, used to help out in his dad’s shop on the weekend for an enviable wage of slaptjip rolls and tomato NikNaks. When he was in high school, he ran his very own company. He bought a CD burner, burned CDs and sold them for cheaper than the shops. 

When he got a bit older, he was employed by a retail design agency as a junior 3D visual artist. 

(Sound familiar so far? Thought so.) 

After learning as much as he could, Rael left that agency, started his own endeavours and went from strength to strength to get to where he is now. His advice to young grads is a reminder that “nobody starts out being the best.”

Stick with what you’re doing until you feel that you can’t squeeze any more value out of it, and then figure out what the next best step is. It’s important to move at your own pace and not feel pressured by other people’s achievements. Something that is right for them, might not be right for you. 

All The Way Up

In the same breath, don’t settle and become stagnant – James encourages young grads to be confident in themselves and aim high because “there is plenty of room at the top”. 

The top; it might seem like a very far-away and intangible concept, but as Gary Player says, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” 

Of course there will be obstacles along the way, some more conquerable than others. 

One of Rael’s memorable (and embarrassing) obstacles was the time he went out on a work night – 50% of the time, this is a bad idea, guess which half this story falls into? 

He rocked up at work the next morning, still drunk and sporting a black eye (“I was young, they started it”). His boss took one look at/sniff of him and sent him home. 

You don’t need us to tell you the moral of this story, right? 


Most employers hire interns because they know that they’re getting good value for their money. 

James loves the fact that interns are humble, motivated and hungry to learn and grow. Rael enjoys how hardworking they are, and the fact that they don’t come with preconceived notions of employment, which probably feeds into their hunger to learn. 

There is so much to love about interns – click here to read our 5 favourite qualities. 

Counting Sheep 

Speaking of being hard-working, your day can start super well – energetic, productive, and successful – but very few of us are immune to the dreaded afternoon slump…

It usually starts around 3pm: you start slouching slightly in your chair and day-dreaming about a nap. 

By 3.30pm, you have basically lost all motivation to do any work. You’re trying to look busy but you’re just pressing refresh on your emails. You’re weighing up having another coffee vs not being able to sleep until 2am because of it. 

Once 4pm swings around, your brain is officially in screensaver mode and you find yourself having to shake your mental mouse every couple of seconds to prevent automatic shut down. 

It happens to the best of us, even Rael and James. James says that if he’s inspired by what he’s doing, it often gives him a second wind in the afternoon. If that doesn’t work, he turns to nootropics, i.e. brain booster pills. It’s a good idea to be as productive as you can every day, so that on the odd day when you sneak out a bit early, you don’t feel as guilty. 

Rael takes a different approach, and beats his 4pm slump with “a stick, or sharp object”… 

Trusted Interns does not encourage or endorse violence in the work place, but we do encourage you to take a breath and realize you are exactly where you need to be right now.

Want to meet more of our successful interns? You can find them, and other great stuff on our Trusted Interns blog. 

You could be our next success story – create a free profile today, and get access to all of our internships. Sign up and get going over here.

Looking to bring an intern onto your team? We can help you with that. Click here to join over 150 employers who have hired through us. 

It’s that easy. 



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