My real story: Adam L

Age: 33

Education: Advanced Diploma Hospitality Management

Current position: Hotel Operations Manager, SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta

Number of years at the hotel? 4 months

How I got my start in the hotel industry: Coming from an Italian family, it was ingrained into me from an early age that when you have guests visiting your house, you go above and beyond to look after them. Nothing is different when guests stay at our Hotel – for me treating each and every guest with the same level of care, whilst being authentic.

Why do you like working in Hotels? Meeting new people every day, and the opportunity to be creative in our approach to creating memorable experiences for our guests.

What surprised you about working in hotels? The sense of community within it. The people you work with become your family and closest friends who you always run into somewhere.

What has your career path looked like to date? I’ve had an interesting rise through the ranks of Accor Group and now Crown Group.

I came straight out of year 12 and took on a cabinetmaking apprenticeship. I finished my apprenticeship and realised that it wasn’t for me.

I accidentally fell into hospitality working at a pub for a year then landing a job at the Brewery, part of Novotel Sydney Olympic Park. I was promoted to Team Leader and then moved to Arena restaurant as Restaurant Supervisor, which became Brasserie & Bar where I was promoted to Assistant Restaurant Manager. After a couple of years I moved to Mercure Potts Point as Restaurant Manager before I spent a year consulting to Mercure Gerringong and Mercure Parramatta assisting them to elevate their restaurants. I then landed my first senior management roll with Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour as Food & Beverage Manager in which I spent 4 years.

After many years within the Accor Group, I made the move to where I am today, working for SKYE Hotel Suites Parramatta as Hotel Operations Manager, where I was a part of opening the successful Husk & Vine Kitchen and Bar.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? Watching and mentoring my team into the people and managers that they are today.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Being awarded a 2-Glass rating with Gourmet Traveller, for three years in a row for Q Dining’s wine list (Glass Ratings are the equivalent of Chefs Hats for wine lists).

Have you won any Awards? Gourmet Traveller 2-Glass rating – 2014, 2015, 2016

Where do you wish to go from here? For me it is about constantly evolving and striving towards creating exciting food and beverage spaces within the SKYE Hotel Suites banner, and growing our brand and team. I would like to see myself in a holistic Director of Hotel Operations in the future driving the success of our multiple hotels and outlets.

What challenges do you face in this role? Finding staff that want to take hospitality seriously.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? It is dynamic, exciting, ever-changing and highly rewarding to connect with a guest and be able to ensure they have a memorable experience.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? It requires commitment, passion and a genuine love for creating experiences and memories for your guests.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? You have to be willing to make small sacrifices to make long-term gains.

Have you traveled as part of your career in Hotels? I have had the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful parts of Australia as a part of my job.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? You always get the opportunity to meet high profile people which is great fun but a gentleman never tells!!!!

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? I really believe that it is what you make it. People say the pay is not great but if you work hard and prove yourself then the money follows.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? Training has been a critical element in my career progression, I’ve undertaken quite a bit of training, including: 7 Habits of Effective People; Cornell business course; WSET Cert III; One-on-one professional business coaching; finance training; people management training; conflict resolution training; and social media training.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? I’ve had quite a few great experiences but my stay at Park Hyatt Sydney would have to be the best. Everything was thought through from the arrival experience through to the level of detail in their design and fit out.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? I currently manage a team of close to 35 people. At times it can be challenging and you need to be more than a boss, you need to be their friend, their advisor, their parent, and sometimes just a person to listen to them.

What skills have you learnt on the job? I have learnt to be not only a leader but a creative operator, or an entrepreneur, and I have learnt to appreciate even the most simplistic ideas.

What are your working hours like? The hours can be long at times but that is up to me how I manage my time. My work family gets most of my time but when I am at home I give my child my undivided attention.

What’s the pay like? I can’t complain about the pay, but with that comes responsibility.