My real story: Louise D

Age: 26

Education: Bachelor of Business, Masters in Tourism Management.

Current position: Manager on Duty, Sheraton on the Park.

Number of years at the hotel? 4 years.

What does my role entail? Lots of empathy.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: No influence, I’ve just always loved hotels.

Why do you like working in Hotels? I love making people happy, and working in hotels gives you the chance to make someone’s stay memorable.

What my career has looked like to date: Started as a Front Office intern as part of my Bachelor degree. I then moved into a casual position at Reception while I was studying. Once I finished my Masters I was employed full-time as a Front Office Supervisor, and eventually got promoted to Manager on Duty.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? When regular guests that I have looked after for years now treat me almost as family.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? I was nominated for ‘Hotel Industry Rising Star’ for the TAA Awards 2016.

Where do you wish to go from here? I don’t have any career plan as such, but I do grab opportunities as they come.

What challenges do you face in this role? It is a stressful position as you can never anticipate what will happen during your shift. Everything can happen at the same time. You deal with complaints as they come while still looking after all arrivals and departures and ensuring the wellbeing of all of our guests.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? There is always something happening. Always crazy stories to share.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? If you are considering a career in hotels, I recommend to start.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? Probably more than I realise.

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? It is very challenging. It is also easy to build an exciting hotel career by climbing up the hierarchy or even through changing departments.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? Many training sessions are organised by HR. Effective performance training, date handling training, first aid training, etc. as well as other Sheraton brand-specific training.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? On my first week working here at the Sheraton, I checked in a lady who was staying for the first time too. Being both “first timers” at the hotel, we got along very well and she really enjoyed her stay. She is now one of our Platinum members as she has been coming back for over three years and we are always happy to catch up with each other.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Yes. I used to be part of the team that I now manage so as I was promoted, it was not easy to find the right balance between friend and manager. I believe it is important to lead your team by always helping them out and showing them that you are not just managing them, but you are also part of the team.

What skills have you learnt on the job? Self-control and composure while handling guest complaints. The ability to handle stressful situations, and the ability to manage a team.

What’s the pay like? Average.