My real story: Shrijesh K

Age: 28

Current position: Finance Manager, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 9 years

What does your role entail? Completing end of month closing and reporting to head office, supervising the Accounts Payable department and preparing monthly reconciliation of Assets and Liabilities accounts, and maintaining Australia-wide group accounts for the industry.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: While I was studying at college I was influenced and inspired by a senior who had just finished his degree in hospitality and was pursuing his career in Europe.

What my career has looked like to date: I initially started as a Turndown/Room Attendant then a Food and Beverage Attendant while I was studying. After my degree I secured the position of Accounts Receivable Clerk. I was promoted to Senior Accounts Receivable, then to Assistant Manager – Accounts Receivable and Credit, followed by the promotion to my current position as Service Manager – Finance.

Goals: Over the next five years I would like to continue to progress towards a Financial Controller position.

Achievements: Successfully maintaining the financial information of the group and ensuring the smooth operation of the department. Being awarded the trainer of the year within the whole Shangri-La group was epic!

What surprised you about working in hotels? The sheer amount of work behind the scenes that goes into ensuring guests have a happy and memorable stay. Also, the number of departments operating within the hotel and how they interconnect is very surprising and interesting.

What have been some of the perks of working in a hotel? You get to meet people from all over the world and learn about their cultures. The hospitality industry also offers the opportunity to travel, meet people in their own environment and taste different foods. All these things attract me to the industry.

What skills/training have you received on the job? As part of my professional development I have completed various types of management development training such as Managerial Leadership, Supervising Skills, and Managing Performance. I’ve learned technical skills, management skills and interpersonal skills – all immensely valuable for life as well as work.

Mythbusting: It really is a 24-hour industry, so there are departments which work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Advice for people who are considering a career in the hotel industry? It’s a challenging industry to work in, however, if you have a positive attitude and want to learn and grow, this is the industry for you.