My real story: Martina H

Age: 29

Education: Year 12 at Burwood Girls High School, Advanced Diploma in Management

Current position: Senior Events Sales Manager, Hilton Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 10 years

What does my role entail? My role entails assisting with managing the event sales team of the hotel. We have a team of seven event sales coordinators and managers and we take care of the hotel enquiries, proposals, contracts and follow ups

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I fell into working in Hospitality by chance. Originally I was studying Psychology at university and was working in Event Operations waiting tables. It was an easy way to make money while studying.

Does anyone in your family work in a Hotel? Nope, I was the first person in my family to work in Hotels.

Why do you like working in Hotels? I love the grandness of hotels and how there is always something exciting happening. There is a big family feel, and I love the benefits of being able to stay at hotels all over the world for staff rates.

What surprised you about working in hotels? No matter how large the property is, the team feels like a big extended family.

What my career has looked like to date: I started as a Food & Beverage Attendant in Event Operations, then became Team Leader Event Operations, Supervisor Event Operations, Floor Manager Event Operations and Guest Relations Event Operations. After that I progressed to Hilton Meetings Coordinator, Bars Events Coordinator, Event Manager, Senior Events Manager and finally my current role of Senior Events Sales Manager. 

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? Achieving 10 years at the Hotel.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Being offered a scholarship through the hotel to complete an Advanced Diploma in Management.

Where do you wish to go from here? The next step for me would be to become Assistant Director of Events Services and then Director of Event Services.

What challenges do you face in this role? The same challenges you face in most roles in hotels: liaising with different suppliers, departments, clients. 

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? No day is ever the same, no client is ever the same, and no event is ever the same. 

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? It is a really rewarding profession and you make lifelong friends along the way. 

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? If you put in the hard work, a career in hotels will pay off.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I have been to other cities in Australia and stayed in our hotels for training.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? Discretion is obviously key when liaising with events that have famous people attached to them. I have never officially met any famous people at the hotel but I have worked on events that have had the following people attend or be a part of: MTV after party with Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Barnes, Miranda Kerr, 2 Chains, The Veronicas, Sneaky Sound System and Megan Trainor.

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? That working in Hotels isn’t fun. Yes, it is structured (obviously it has to be), but some of the best fun I have had is working on some large, extravagant events.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? Multiple training courses, both internal and external.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? Being able to grow and develop my career through different departments.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Yes I do, I have managed people in both event operations and in event service. I love being able to mentor people and help them reach their goals. I always said I would be a teacher if I wasn’t a psychologist and I guess that’s what I am doing now – teaching the ways of event sales and event management. 

What skills have you learnt on the job? What skills haven’t I learnt!

What are your working hours like? Being a senior in the team, 9am to 5pm is loosely my main start and finishing time. Sometimes, though, when the work calls for it, you need start early or stay back. It’s always a team effort though.

What’s the pay like? The pay is average for the work we produce, but it’s not about pay. I know I could get paid more if I worked for a private events company. It’s about the growth and progression opportunities that hotels offer. 

Anything else you’d like to add? I would tell anyone that working in hotels even for a short period of time is such a beneficial experience. I consider myself lucky for all the opportunities Hilton have provided me.