My real story: Rachel H

Age: 25

Education and training: Diploma in Hospitality Management

Current position: Reservations & Revenue Manager, Rydges Rotorua

Number of years at the hotel? 4 years

What does your role entail? “What doesn’t it entail?” is a more appropriate question! It mainly involves the day-to-day running of the front office including reception, reservations and concierge.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: My mother worked as a chef so I think that always fuelled my interest in hospitality. Upon leaving high school I wanted to work in event management and took a course that included events at hotels. During this course I decided I didn’t want to do event management but that hotels were more of interest to me.

What my career has looked like to date: I studied hospitality then moved into a Guest Service Agent role at a hotel. Following this I decided I wanted a ‘normal job’ which I did for a year and hated, so I moved back into hotels and found myself back in a Guest Service Agent role. I was quickly promoted into a Duty Manager position then jumped at the opportunity of taking on a higher role and was promoted to Front Office Manager.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I regularly travel in my current position.

Goals: I want to keep climbing the ladder so my next step is Rooms Division Manager. My top goal is to one day be a Hotel General Manager.

Achievements: Being promoted to Front Office Manager and seeing my team grow. The sense of achievement in helping someone gain extra skills to advance their career is very satisfying. Also, hosting the arrival of the President of Tanzania was a huge and successful operation of which I am proud to have been a part of.

What surprised you about working in hotels?  The guests surprise me constantly. Every day there is praise or complaint – you never know what they are going to say and you have to be prepared for any challenge thrown at you!

What have been some of the perks of working in a hotel? The people you meet make it so interesting, and I don’t just mean the famous ones. It attracts people from all corners of the globe and all walks of life.

What skills/training have you received on the job? The training has been extensive and I’ve learned far more this way than I would have in a classroom.

Mythbusting: A lot of people think you have to study before you can get your foot in the door at a hotel, but that’s not true. I hire my team members based on personality, not experience. No two days are the same so there’s never time to be bored or complacent. This is not an industry where people rest on their laurels!

Advice for people who are considering a career in the hotel industry? It’s exciting, fun and dynamic, so you need to have the drive and energy to match. There are so many different paths you can take and the possibilities are endless in the hotel industry.