My real story: Hayden S

Age: 28

Education: Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management

Current position: Assistant Hotel Manager, Rendezvous Hotel Sydney Central

Number of years at the hotel? 1 year (However I have previously worked at this property for over 10 years)

What does my role entail? I direct and coordinate the Hotel activities to maintain optimum efficiency and economy of operations and maximise full potential, with a balanced focus on the Hotel’s mission, guests, employees and owner’s satisfaction. Our guests are always my main focus.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I actually did work experience in Year 10 and have been in Hotels (in the same company) ever since.

Why do you like working in Hotels? I love meeting new people every day, and every day throws you a new challenge.

What surprised you about working in hotels? The wide variety of people you get to work with, different cultures and many different personalities.

What my career has looked like to date: I started in year 10 doing work experience. I have worked in almost every department in a hotel. I started in F&B then moved to Front Desk and onto leadership roles as Supervisor then Duty Manager. After I completed a Management Leadership Program, I was promoted to Assistant Hotel Manager.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? Overseeing the successful renovation of the entire property and rebranding.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Completing the Management Leadership Program and presenting to the CEO, Senior Management and other Hotel Managers on my projects.

Have you won any Awards? Team Member of the Month/Quarter.

Where do you wish to go from here? Hotel Manager, then Area Hotel Manager.

What challenges do you face in this role? Being a leader of a diverse team is always a challenge. You need to always keep your team motivated and be willing to give 100%.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? It’s rewarding to see the Hotel perform well financially, and welcoming back regular guests who become like a part of your family.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? Always let your personality shine through. Remember there is so much to learn and many departments in which to use your expertise.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? Do it! It’s an amazing industry to work in. You can have flexible hours to suit your lifestyle and you always meet new people, whether it’s team members or guests.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? No – but you certainly can!

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? A few, but their names remain a secret.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? Management Leadership Program – Revenue Management Training – First Aid – RSA – Excel advanced course.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? We once had a guest who arrived to book a room when the hotel was fully booked. After telling him this, he looked very unwell so I sat him down and gave him some water. I then had to retrieve his heart medication which he hadn’t taken since that morning. I chose to over-book the Hotel and get him a room anyway. I took him up to his room and laid him on the couch with a bottle of water, and offered to retrieve his belongings and park his car, which he thanked me for. I had my team check on him for the remainder of his stay every few hours. I also wrote a personal letter wishing him a speedy recovery and to call me with an update as I was off for the next few days. One week later, he left a letter with the Hotel Manager explaining all of the events, and a gift card for me, stating he’d never felt such compassion and care from anyone, let alone a stranger.

That’s why I love my job – I get to make such a big impact on people’s lives and I’ll continue to do that for our guests and team members.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? It’s amazing, but I would be lying if I said it’s not challenging, as it can be one of the hardest things to do, but when your team click into gear it’s fantastic to see them achieve their personal goals.

What skills have you learnt on the job? A wide variety of on-the-job skills. Handling complaints is something I love to do – it’s a great challenge.

What are your working hours like? 8-5pm, however I’m always in early or staying back late.

What’s the pay like? Above average.

Anything else you’d like to add? Remember I did work experience in year 10 and I’ve been working in hotels ever since!