My real story: Michael B

Age: 31

Education: Year 12, Advanced Diploma in Hospitality

Current position: Assistant Front Office Manager, The Langham, Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 5 years and 8 months

What does my role entail? Monitoring all Front of House staff, ensuring that tasks and new projects are being actioned in a timely manner for ultimate guest satisfaction. I ensure that all colleagues are on top of all guests preferences. There are many more tasks involved in my role, however this is how we make a difference in 5 star hotels.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I always loved interacting with people. I travelled a lot before I worked in hotels thus maybe the reason why I love it that much.

Does anyone in your family work in a Hotel? My parents did many years ago. Actually that’s how they met. At the Menzies Sydney.

Why do you like working in Hotels? The interaction with guests. The exciting personalities and different backgrounds of our guests ensure they have plenty of stories to share!

What surprised you about working in hotels? Nothing. I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve seen it all…

What my career has looked like to date: Throughout year 12, I worked at McDonald’s. After graduation, I travelled the world for 5 years. When I returned to Sydney, I completed my Hospitality Diploma. My career in hotels has had many progressions from my first role as a Porter, then Night Porter, Concierge, Receptionist, Night Manager, Service Stylist, Guest Services Manager and now Assistant Front Office Manager!

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? Being recognised by head management for my work, my passion and my dedication to the job. 

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? Getting to where I am now and the amazing career path I’ve already enjoyed. 

Where do you wish to go from here? My first wish was to be a Duty Manager. I achieved that. My next small wish would be Rooms Division Manager. I wouldn’t mind becoming Vice President of Operations one day!

What challenges do you face in this role? Implementing change and improving processes can be challenging, however when presented along with the benefits that would be achieved, I’ve never had a manager say ‘no’.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? It’s fun and eye opening. You meet the most amazing (and sometimes “not” amazing) guests. But you do receive some incredible benefits, including free meals, hotel stays, training, transfers to sister hotels around the world.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? It’s tough at first. There are long hours involved once you get to a managerial level. However hang in there, your hard work and your passion will be noticed.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I’ve travelled to about 16 countries before working in hotels. The Langham are opening 10+ properties around the world, Tokyo is opening in 2020 in which I hope to transfer!

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? Cyndi Lauper, Blondie, James Earl Jones, James Franco, Robbie Williams, the Kardashians, Miranda Kerr, Russel Crowe, Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Mel Gibson, Kate Blanchet, Geoffrey Rush, All main actors (Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride etc..) from the new upcoming Aliens Covenant movie including Ridley Scott. Any many more!

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? First Aid. Fire Evacuation (Chief Warden training). Complaint Handling. 

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? I don’t have a best hotel experience, I just appreciate the comments that we receive from guests when we have assisted in making their experience one to remember. Sounds cheesy but it’s true. 

What skills have you learnt on the job? Everything I know until this day. That’s a lot!

What are your working hours like? I work 8 hour days. 7-3 or 9-5 or 3-11. Working hours are flexible depending on your level in the hotel.

What’s the pay like? Now, for my position it’s actually above average.

Anything else you’d like to add? You do this job for the love and passion. When young, take advantage and travel the world and take the opportunity to work in different hotels, as every hotel is different. My first hotel is The Langham, Sydney, in 5 years I’ve gone from a Porter to Assistant Front Office Management, not bad!