My real story: Jason N

Age: 30

Education: Marketing Diploma, Certificate 4 Advertising, TAFE NSW

Current position: Marketing & E-Commerce Manager, Pullman Sydney Hyde Park & Novotel Sydney Central

Number of years at the hotel? 2.5 years

What does that role entail?  My role is quite varied which is what makes it exciting each day. Ultimately I’m responsible for increasing the hotel’s direct business, which involves marketing the hotel’s accommodation options and the hotel’s facilities to potential guests. I am also responsible for marketing the hotel’s bars, restaurants, conferencing facilities and special events to generate additional revenue for departments such as Food & Beverage and Conferencing and Events.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: This is my first stint in hotels and I was originally hired as a Marketing & E-Commerce Executive purely working for Pullman Sydney Hyde Park. In my previous role I was in PR for a travel company and was fortunate enough to travel and stay in many hotels. Travel is one of my hobbies and I have always been interested in the world of hotels, in particular luxury hotels. I enjoy the level of service offered by the properties, the rich styling and décor, along with the facilities offered.

Does anyone in your family work in a Hotel? I have an uncle overseas who I recently learnt has been working in hotels for most of his life. He works in the Housekeeping department of luxury hotel in Cyprus, Egypt, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I recently visited the property, it’s incredible.

Why do you like working in Hotels? Relating back to directly to my role, I enjoy that I’m not simply marketing one product or service. I have a range of products (restaurants, accommodation, etc.), which means I get to deal with different parties, including consumers, trade, and partners, which keeps my role exciting. I’m quite social and enjoy meeting new people. And as a frequent traveller, I understand that a hotel experience can make or break your holiday or business trip so I enjoy making sure our in-house guests have the most memorable stay at our properties and hopefully tell all their friends.

What surprised you about working in hotels? I was surprised that I couldn’t enter the hotel through the main guest entrance. This rule makes perfect sense but when applying for the role I’m sure I thought I could stroll through the main guest entry each day, feeling glamorous with my designer sunglasses on.

What my career has looked like to date: My first job was in direct marketing sale, I was a door-to-door salesman selling water and coffee stations to businesses. While I was studying I worked as a promotional model in department stores educating customers about luxury brand skincare, make-up and fragrance. From here I worked in a number of well-known Australian financial institutions in lending and dispute investigations. Whilst I was earning amazing money, I knew I wasn’t passionate about the work I was doing so I decided to take the leap of faith and put my study into practice.My very first marketing role was at ACP Magazines (now Bauer Media) as a Marketing Assistant working on Take 5 Magazine and I was soon promoted to Brand Manager. Having dealt with numerous PR companies, I decided to try my hand at it and moved into a PR role for a prominent International travel company, working on their premium, luxury travel brands and was lucky enough to travel around Australia and to Europe, hosting travel media.  While I loved PR, if felt changes in the market meant that I was best moving back into marketing and hence looked at marketing opportunities within the accommodation industry.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? There are too many to mention! I was thrilled to have my hard work recognised for the Matt Blatt Suite when I was nominated for Best Marketing Campaign – The Matt Blatt Suite in the HM Awards in 2016.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? There are a few I’m proud of and these include the Matt Blatt Suite, a pop up hotel suite, and being part of history and the first wedding on top of Sydney Tower!

Where do you wish to go from here? Up! I’m not entirely sure what my next role will be within Accor; however, there are so many opportunities, which makes it very exciting.

What challenges do you face in this role? In my current role it’s definitely keeping up with all the changes in this digital day and age. Social, SEO, SEM, VR the list goes on but I’m very excited about the possibilities these changes create.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? I would have to say the varied role and the different products and services my role works across.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? As above.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? We’re a special breed in hospitality. If you like working with people this job is for you.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? Not professionally no, although we do get some amazing benefits for hotels within the Accor network so whenever I travel personally I get to enjoy these!

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? I have met a lot of celebrities. Most recently I met Cyndi Lauper and a few of the Real Housewives of Sydney.  Other big names include Shaggy, Nana Mouskouri, Karen Walker, Richard Reid and many more.

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? Whoever said a role in hotels is unexciting was wrong. Each day there’s something new and exciting happening, no two days are the same.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? I’ve attended a number of offsite training courses which are specifically related to Digital Marketing and influencing Millennial’s in today’s society.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? I’m pretty easy to please, give me a free room upgrade and executive lounge access and I’m over the moon. Who am I kidding, I’m happy with a bottle of free wine!

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? I do, I manage a Marketing Coordinator and I really enjoy it. I like working closely with someone who’s just starting out in marketing career and being able to teach them everything I know. It’s also a great feeling when their ability level changes too, it’s a very rewarding experience. 

What skills have you learnt on the job? Accor invests a lot of money in training and up skilling its staff so I would have to say a lot! 

What are your working hours like? My working hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 5pm. Obviously in my role sometimes I choose to work back to ensure things get done in a timely manner, but I also have a great boss who is very flexible and encourages a work life balance. 

What’s the pay like? I’m still here and I wouldn’t be if I wasn’t happy. 

Anything else you’d like to add? In hotels we work hard but we also have loads of fun. I’ve never worked in a company that is so diverse which adds to the experience.