My real story: John A

Age: 23

Education: Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I’m planning to undertake a Diploma of Hospitality at TAFE.

Current position: Chef De Partie (CDP), InterContinental Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 1 year

What does my role entail? I’m in charge of the section when the Sous Chef is not around. I also look after HACCP logs, ordering, stocktake and training staff.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I entered the High Flyer competition.

Why do you like working in Hotels? The flexibility is great and the other staff I work with.

What surprised you about working in hotels? The staff experience of a hotel compared to the guest experience of a hotel.

What my career has looked like to date: Age 14, I started working at McDonald’s, I then spent 2 years working at an Italian restaurant, before beginning my hotel career at Radisson Blu for 4.5 years and am now at the InterContinental Sydney.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? I’ve had a number of proud moments! Competing in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs competition in Adelaide and winning State and coming third in Australia. Being TAFE NSW Ambassador 2017. Being promoted.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Competing in the the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs competition and working alongside a great team at the InterContinental Sydney.

Have you won any Awards? 1st Chaîne des Rôtisseurs NSW. 3rd Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Nationals. TAFE NSW Ambassador 2017

Where do you wish to go from here? I want to keep moving up, first to a Sous Chef role and eventually becoming an Executive Chef of a 5-star hotel.

What challenges do you face in this role? Ensuring a work-life balance is a big challenge, similar to a lot of industries. Keeping up with industry trends is an exciting challenge.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? The flexibility and people I get to work with.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? It’s challenging but it’s also rewarding.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? It takes hard work, dedication and commitment.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I’ve travelled interstate as part of the culinary competitions.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? Yes, NRL players and plenty of other famous people regularly stay.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? I’ve received significant training to develop my culinary, communication and leadership skills, as well as ordering and cost control measure.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? Our hotel restaurant, 117 Dining, was awarded winner of the 2016 World Luxury Restaurant Awards for Best Luxury Hotel Restaurant and Two Hats by the esteemed Gault & Millau 2017 guide.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? I have managed students, it’s empowering and it feels good to share knowledge and teach.

What skills have you learnt on the job? I’ve participating in significant training, developing culinary skills, communication and leadership skills as well as ordering and cost control measures.

What are your working hours like? Rostered shifts.

What’s the pay like? Adequate.

Anything else you’d like to add? The continued support and mentorship I have received from Chefs Stephen Lech and Luke Fernley at InterContinental Sydney has been critical in my growth and development as a chef, a big thank you!