My real story: Oscar L

Age: 27

Education: Bachelor of Arts Majoring in History & Cultural Studies, University of Sydney and Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management, The Hotel School, Sydney

Current position: Guest Services Assistant Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 3 years

What does my role entail? Assistant Managing the guest services department, overseeing all arrivals and departures including luggage, valet car parking and guest engagement.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: I had a family friend who was a GM at the Langham in both London and Hong Kong. When I expressed an interest, he became my mentor and gave me some advice on how to build my career.

Why do you like working in Hotels? The constant change and variation in work. The opportunity to work in big teams. The fast-paced environment. Engaging with guests.

What surprised you about working in hotels? The competitive nature of the employees that work here. Everyone is trying to stand out, which means you really have to work hard and set goals in order to succeed.

What my career has looked like to date: I was a day-time receptionist for four months, then overnight receptionist (night audit) for one year. I was in the “Manager In Training” program for just over a year and now I am Guest Services Assistant Manager.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? Being selected for, and then graduating from, the Manager In Training program with a management position.

Where do you wish to go from here? My medium-term goal is to become General Manager of a hotel. Long term is to work within the corporate structure of a Hotel group (e.g. President of a region).

What challenges do you face in this role? Management of an ever-changing team can have its moments, particularly with training. And large guest movements in this property means rarely having a moment or day without big challenges.

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? The chance to travel the world and meet new people and cultures, as well as not being stuck behind a desk all day.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? To succeed is hard work, but when a day goes well it doesn’t feel like work at all.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? Put your head down and constantly seek feedback from those around you. Be prepared to work hard, but also keep that positive energy (which can be hard to muster on some days).

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? All the time, however I can’t divulge who!

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? The training is endless and there are always sessions you can throw yourself into. For me, the two main programs have been my Management In Training program which runs a year long, as well as the STEPS program, which is a Four Seasons program which aims to build the next generation of leaders.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? The people you meet daily make work not feel like work. It’s hard to pick any one experience.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Yes, I am currently an Assistant Manager in Guest Services (bell team) so we have a team of roughly 35 people. It has its challenges, but mainly I find it rewarding to build others and create a positive work environment as well as create positive guest experiences. Our team is usually the first and last people a guest will see when they come to the hotel so it’s important we leave a lasting impression.

What skills have you learnt on the job? Everything from Opera, to Micros to Hotsos, to management skills, to payroll. The list really is endless.

What are your working hours like? It changes day to day.

What’s the pay like? Honestly, it’s adequate for the responsibility I carry, however I’m in it for the long term where I see it drastically improving.