My real story: Kristy B

Age: 29

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration (Hospitality)

Current position: Assistant Hotel Manager, Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach

Number of years at the hotel? 2 years

What does my role entail? My days centre on creating and developing a front office team that is motivated and inspired to create unique guest experiences and build on their individual hotel careers.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: Working weekend weddings and in the lounge bar of my local 5-star Hotel while studying at University introduced me to the hotel world and a small network of friends and contacts. This fuelled my passion for guest service and opened up a few doors once I committed to a hotel career. 

Why do you like working in Hotels? There’s an energy that comes from being part of a team and playing a role in shaping the way guests experience Sydney.

What surprised you about working in hotels? People are full of surprises.

What my career has looked like to date: After studying and working abroad and with a background in food and beverage, I moved to Sydney and landed my first front office role at Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Bay. I completed the TFE Future Leaders Program at Vibe with experience in all departments, graduating as a Duty Manager. 12 months later I spent a year as Relief Assistant Manager where I worked across all the TFE brands in NSW before successfully applying for my current role in Bondi. Here I have completed the TFE Management Leadership Program which involved a number of projects to connect Adina with the local Bondi community. 

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? The 2016 team survey results saw a marked improvement in team engagement after my first 12 months here. I like to think I played a small part.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? I have most enjoyed working with local Bondi start-up businesses on projects to connect the hotel to the community, and give a helping hand to the ‘little guys’.

Have you won any Awards? 2015 TFE Hotels ‘Rising Star’ winner; 2016 TFE Hotels ‘Smashing Idea’ winner

Where do you wish to go from here? It will be hard to leave Bondi but I know adventures await with so many new hotels on the horizon. I’d love to assist with the opening of a new hotel and continue training and developing hotel teams, hopefully on a global scale. 

What challenges do you face in this role? I’m learning every day and challenging myself to do things I’ve never done. It’s rewarding to go beyond my comfort zone – the scarier the better. 

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? I love the 24-hour buzz of hotels and the international vibe. 

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? You’ve gotta love people!

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? Say yes to every opportunity. Constantly learning and meeting new people is essential to growth and development.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I’ve been lucky to spend time across NSW, the ACT, Tasmania and Victoria in the name of work. 

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? I have fan-girled over so many great bands and artists…

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? I always thought hotel managers were boring old guys who had been in their hotels forever but have come across so many fresh, dynamic people breathing new life into the industry. It’s exciting.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? I have completed 2 internal leadership programs along with constant training in new systems and processes. I’ve renewed my First Aid certificate and attended courses in revenue management and presentation skills. On the job training is part of every day.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? A family coordinated their reunion after 15 years living in separate parts of the world. Ten people were reunited in our lobby and my heart was a mess. 

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Creating a team that is engaged and excited to come to work every day and watching their careers flourish is the best part of my job.

What skills have you learnt on the job? I have almost become a grown up while working in hotels. I’ve learned about my strengths in relationship management and the importance of creating a culture that values teamwork and celebrates success. Quick thinking and a hint of wit are essential.

What are your working hours like? The days can be longer than some industries as there’s always something happening. I now have a fixed roster which is fabulous. 

What’s the pay like? It’s great to see my pay grow as my career progresses.

Anything else you’d like to add? Hospitality kids are a rare and beautiful breed.