My real story: Jillian B

Age: 28

Education and training: Bachelor of Business – major in Marketing, and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management

Current position: Conference and Banqueting Manager, Intercontinental, Sydney

Number of years at the hotel?  3 years

What does your role entail? Overseeing the banqueting operation including recruitment, payroll, and managing all events and function spaces.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I studied at Hunter Valley Hotel Academy and won the Crowne Plaza Scholarship, which also came with a position.

What my career has looked like to date: I began as Food and Beverage Attendant at Crown Plaza, Newcastle, followed by a promotion to Food and Beverage Supervisor managing banquets. I completed I-Grad at Crown Plaza, Canberra, then became the Duty Manager at Club Intercontinental Sydney, then was promoted to my current position as Conference and Banqueting Manager.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I was fortunate enough to complete a 2 month secondment at the InterContinental Fiji. Last year I also got to visit Singapore head office to be a part of the Regional Operation Committee meeting.

Goals: I don’t have a specific career path mapped out. I’m happy in my current role but am flexible and ready to grab each opportunity that presents itself.

Achievements: Leading a team to create a successful ARIA after-party event, and stepping into the Banqueting Manager role to successfully restructure the department. Leader of the Year 2016, Winner.

What surprised you about working in hotels? The complexity of the business and the diversity of roles have been surprising; this complexity is what contributes towards a successful hotel.

What have been some of the perks of working in a hotel? Overseas travel is a huge perk, it’s what makes the industry so exciting.

What skills/training have you received on the job? Everything! Negotiation, time management, leadership skills and much more.

Mythbusting: A lot goes on behind the scenes – front of house is very different to back of house. I’ve experienced both, which is important as it allows you to see the hotel through a guest’s eyes.

Advice for people who are considering a career in the hotel industry? Don’t let people tell you hospitality is not a career. Do what you love and follow your passion. This is an exciting industry with endless opportunities.