My real story: Maverick L

Age: 27

Education: Bachelor of International Hospitality Management

Current position: Rooms Division Manager, Primus Hotel Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 2 years

What does my role entail? Overseeing the operations for Rooms Division and at the same time ensuring that all our guests experience the highest standards of service and care.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I did an internship at a small luxury resort located in the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. My first role was a Housekeeping Attendant and then I moved on to Food and Beverage. Over the years, I’ve worked at JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur, The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur and Sydney Harbour Marriott.

Why do you like working in Hotels? My passion is service and that’s what drives me every day to strive for quality service. Hotels around the world are very different and unique to one another and because of that, the excitement that I get each time I step foot into a new hotel in a different country is almost unexplainable. Being able to learn and experience different types of services and architectural wonders is also another drive for me.

What surprised you about working in hotels? I guess the importance of the role for each department and how it connects and relates to one another. During my internship, I thought that only Front Service served the customer, hence they are the ones who would impact the experience of a guest. That’s not the case. Every single department connects and interrelates to one another, from the stewards preparing the plates, to the chef who cooks and places food on a plate and then the waiter who takes the very same plate and places it on the table.

What my career has looked like to date: I must say, it has been an exciting journey into the art of hospitality. Every day is very different to another. To keep it simple, it’s been very progressive and exciting.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? My proudest moment would definitely be the moment when we hit number 1 on Trip Advisor, and achieving 9th Best Hotel in Australia for 2017.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Grooming up a well-functioning pre-opening team with limited to no pre-opening experience.

Where do you wish to go from here? I guess my next step would be in a Director of Rooms or an Operations Manager role. Being in a company with a promising future growth.

What challenges do you face in this role? I’ve faced and dealt with a lot of guests over the years in the hospitality industry. I guess the challenge is that we have to prepare ourselves for the unknown when something does happen. You can’t prepare for everything.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? The best part of it is to meet up with different people from different parts of the world. When a conversation starts and we click, we sort of sky rocket from there. That personal connection is what makes all of my guests return to the hotel.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? The hospitality industry is a challenging industry, however it is definitely rewarding at the same time. Forget about building a personal connection with a guest for one second, imagine having a team that’s so diverse that almost every single person is from a different country; there’s so many things you can learn from them and stories that they share with you during your time at work.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? Look towards your passion and see where it guides you.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? Yes, several of them. I’ve met Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Usher, and many more.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? I have to say Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia. The three nights at a pristine and private island was heaven to me. There were seven different cuisines to enjoy, quiet and peaceful private beaches, all with outstanding first class service.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Yes I do, I currently manage a team of almost 30 people. It’s rewarding. You get to learn about the individual and listen to their story. There would be times where it is difficult and challenging, but I guess you find it in any industry. My advice to positively manage people is to listen actively. Ensuring that every word is listened to.

What skills have you learnt on the job? Multi-tasking. Being able to be a Chef, an Engineer, a F&B Attendant, and a Valet Attendant all at the same time. This is achievable because of the different roles that I’ve gone through over the past 10 years.

What are your working hours like? Working hours vary – mine are currently around the standard. However it very much depends on movement of the day and that will predominantly drive your day.

What’s the pay like? There’s a myth that the hospitality industry is the lowest paid industry. However, as mentioned before, not everyone is suited to be in hospitality industry. It is mainly your passion that drives your career. If your passion is service, then hospitality is for you. Apart from that, you learn so much from people that you work with and people that you encounter, those are experiences that you cannot buy. I have to say, it is rewarding. The remuneration will come eventually down the track as you progress in your career. Just have to note that it all boils down to your passion.