My real story: Megan K

Age: 26

Education: Year 12, Diploma Hospitality (TAFE), Advanced Diploma Event management (TAFE), Bachelor Business (CSU)

Current position: Regional Sales, Marketing & Revenue Coordinator NSW/ACT, NSW/ACT Regional Office

Number of years at the hotel? 1 year.

What does my role entail? I provide assistance and support to Regional Director of Sales and Marketing and the Regional Revenue Manager.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I had a passion for cooking so I took up hospitality in school. I was first in my class in the HSC, and then decided to complete further hospitality studies at TAFE, where I found a passion for hotel operations, as I love being surrounded by people.

Why do you like working in Hotels? I love the exposure we have to a variety of different people, and more importantly their stories. We have so many opportunities to make others feel special, and this is both exciting, and rewarding.

What surprised you about working in hotels? The people that work in hotels are passionate about what they do and the industry.

What my career has looked like to date: I started working in a local pub and bottle shop, then moved to hotels as an Assistant Manager (front office based). I was then accepted into the Accor Executive Leadership Program, and worked in three Accor hotels over two years (Assistant Manager, Operations Manager, Front Office & Revenue Manager). I then started working in a permanent role as Front Office Manager at one of Accor’s largest hotels in Sydney. After working in operations for so long I was seeking a change, therefore transferred to my current role which is more administration-based. I am now also working in the NSW/ACT Regional team, which offers great exposure to high-level executives and leaders.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? Stepping outside of my comfort zone and being exposed to a completely different department and entirely new.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Being accepted into, and graduating from the Accor Executive Leadership Program has definitely been my greatest professional achievement to date.

Where do you wish to go from here? I’d like to move into Sales and Marketing and work my way up through the Head Office. I would love to work internationally and gain exposure to other markets.

What challenges do you face in this role? Sales and marketing is very new to me. I have exposure and experience in almost every other hotel department, however this is all fairly new and therefore provides exciting challenges as there is so much to learn.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? Every day is different. There are so many opportunities due to the large number of hotels Accor manage, as well as the number of departments and roles available to work in. There really is something for everyone.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? Never give up! Like any industry, hospitality has its challenges. When you are going through the tough times, it is important to always remember how rewarding it is when we achieve the end result, particularly when it is acknowledged in positive feedback or a smile from a guest!

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? The industry is dynamic and full of countless opportunities. Be yourself and you will find the right path for you.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? Yes, I’ve travelled regionally.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? Yes! Dennis Quaid, John Farnham, Lleyton Hewitt, our Prime Minister, Roger Federer, Julia Morris, The Presets band, and many stars from The Bachelor… Just to name a few!

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? The myth that you can go and have a sleep in an empty hotel room any time you like (e.g. on a lunch break). You can’t, whilst there are many luxuries and benefits of working in a hotel, this is unfortunately not one of them.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? Countless online webinars, face-to-face training courses, virtual training platforms, reading materials etc. are available to me. Accor gives us access to as much training as we like, and it is usually free which is great!

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? I met so many fabulous people throughout the Accor Executive Leadership Program. Changing roles and hotels every eight months has also exposed me to so many interesting and wonderful characters.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Not at present, but I have for the last four years. It’s fun, rewarding and exciting, but don’t get me wrong, it can also be very challenging at times.

What skills have you learnt on the job? Wow, where to start! People management, Rostering & Payroll, Performance Management, Communications, Revenue Management/Generation, Budgeting, and countless others I could not possibly name them all.

What are your working hours like? I used to work long hours on a rotating roster; however since moving out of hotel operations, my hours are 8:30am – 5:30pm.

What’s the pay like? Adequate.

Anything else you’d like to add? Hospitality is hard work, however one of the most rewarding industries you can work in. Each individual is empowered to be creative, and is encouraged to be themselves, which I love!