My real story: Tom W

Age: 27

Current position: Business Development Manager, InterContinental Sydney

Number of years at the hotel? 8 years

What does my role entail? I manage corporate accounts for accommodation rooms at the hotel, specifically I negotiate room rates and contracts, along with managing the client relationship.

How I got my start in the hotel industry: It started as a casual job; I travelled after school and my mother applied on my behalf at InterContinental Sydney.

Why do you like working in Hotels? I love meeting new people (guests and colleagues) each day.

What surprised you about working in hotels? I was surprised by the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into the final product.

What my career has looked like to date: I commenced as a trainee and then progressed through the Food & Beverage outlets and have now moved into leadership positions.

During your time at this Hotel, what has been your proudest moment? I was awarded the inaugural Leader of the Year in 2013.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date? I was awarded the TAA NSW Hotel Industry Rising Star 2012 award.

Where do you wish to go from here? I plan to continue my development in my current role whilst learning more about the commercial aspect of the business.

What challenges do you face in this role? Developing relationships with my account contacts and ensuring we are the preferred hotel in Sydney can be a challenge!

Why do you like working in the accommodation industry? Every day is different; there are new challenges each day.

What message do you have to tell others about working in the accommodation industry? It is a great way to meet people from all over the world, whilst learning new skills each day.

What advice would you give to people considering a career in Hotels? Go for it. Give it a try. It’s not for everyone but you won’t know if you don’t try.

Have you travelled as part of your career in Hotels? I have some domestic travel planned.

Have you met anyone famous during your career in Hotels? The hotel has played host to a number of VIP guests – I was lucky enough to meet Oprah during her Australian Adventure.

Can you bust any Hotel career myths? Many people think working in a hotel is easy, it’s not, there are challenges but it’s incredibly rewarding. The hotel industry can offer a great career path.

What training have you received from your employer as part of your professional development? I commenced my role at the hotel as an Operations Trainee completing Certificate III in Hospitality. Following this I completed my Cert IV and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management. I have been given the opportunity to participate in leadership development workshops along with facilitating training sessions here at the hotel.

Tell us about one of your best Hotel experiences? I have been fortunate enough to be part of many special moments, it is hard to pinpoint just one. I think that each guest is an opportunity for you to leave a positive impression and that’s what keeps me motivated.

Do you manage people? If yes, what is that like? Yes. It’s rewarding to construct a successful team. It’s interesting to experiment with ambitions and bring out the best in your team.

What skills have you learnt on the job?  I’ve learnt all-important conversational skills, as well as financial and budget skills.

What are your working hours like? My working hours are flexible and regularly change.

What’s the pay like? Adequate, the intrinsic rewards are good.