My real story: Garry L

Age: 45 

Education: Completed year 10

Current position: Forecast Analyst, InterContinental Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 2 years

What does my role entail? Ensuring the execution of effective strategies and actions for total revenue management, pricing, yield management, forecasting and channel delivery to achieve agreed RevPAR, RGI, system delivery, total revenue and profitability objectives.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: A working holiday in the Whitsundays.

Why do you like working in Hotels? It provides a great work/life balance.

What surprised you about working in hotels? For me it was the scope of diversity – not only in the people, their culture, experience and aspirations, but the diversity that is possible for career progression. I used to think careers were quite vertical, however hoteliers have a range of opportunities in all departments and the opportunity to get close exposure while being on property. I’ve seen professionals move from F&B to sales, to M&E to revenue, and the like. It’s a great litmus test to find your passion.

What my career has looked like to date: F&B Attendant, moved to Porter, then Supervisor, Reception, Night Manager, Assistant Manager, Front Office Manager, Rooms Division Manager, Executive Assistant Manager. Then I moved into the Corporate office, then into Revenue where I have been for the past nine years.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? I was named Employee of the Year in 2011 and 2016.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? PMS rollout across 26 hotels in 12 months. 

Where do you wish to go from here? I’m happy where I am at the moment!

What challenges do you face in this role? Growing ADR with increased rooms inventory in the city.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? The work/life balance, plus cheap holidays with employee rates!

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? While work-life balance is achievable, it is also something you must work to and earn, to a degree. A lot of people will tell you it’s a 24/7 job with little balance, however I’ve always believed balance is something you need to create for yourself. I still arrive to work at 7am, I stay focused and I get my job done – I have the trust of my team and deliver the team’s objectives, and so balance is not a task.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? The hotel industry is competitive and highly desirable for a lot of graduates/candidates, especially in the five-star hotels. I believe you need to find your point of difference and deliver it every single day – whether it’s your writing, a unique ability to build client relationships, a way with numbers, or digital savviness – find your unique selling point.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? Yes, to all states and territories (except Tasmania). This was when I was rolling out the new PMS, and I was  required to be onsite at each property and conduct user training prior and support after each property was ‘cut over”.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? No, weirdly.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? IHG has an incredibly strong focus on personal development. All employees receive support with personal development planning, workshops, opportunities for offsite or externally-run training courses and access to mentors.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? While working for Toga, they purchased a new PMS (Protel). I put my hand up to be on the roll out team, which gave me an in-depth experience into how a PMS is built from the ground up, training the front line staff, being the point of contact for all support for the group and embedding all the SOPs. It also introduced me to a larger audience of executive management and general manager community.

What skills have you learnt on the job? Extensive PMS/GDS knowledge, Excel – Spreadsheets, pivots macros etc., self-development – PDP, leading others and reading the Sydney market in regards to revenue management.