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What’s it really like to work in a hotel?

Posted on 04/08/2015 by
Pictured: The Langham, Auckland, one of the city's finest 5-star hotels

Pictured: The Langham, Auckland, one of the city’s finest 5-star hotels. Many ITC students do work experience here to learn about the exciting hotel industry.

We all know that staying in a nice hotel is a lovely experience, but what’s it like to work in one on a daily basis? We asked Jacquelyn Shore, the Human Resources and Recruitment Coordinator at The Langham in Auckland. In this interview, she gives us a glimpse of what life is like behind-the-scenes at a 5-star hotel, as well as shares some tips for students considering a career in this exciting industry.

ITC: Tell us a little bit about yourself – how did you get to be working in this industry?

Jacquelyn: After graduating high school, I spent a year living and travelling overseas, as I always had an interest and passion for travel. I knew that I wanted a university degree so I returned back to NZ to complete my Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resources and Management at AUT University.  Towards the end of my studies I saw a fixed term part-time Human Resources Administrator position at The Langham Hotel. I applied and the rest is history. Two years later, I am a graduate in the position of full-time Human Resources and Recruitment Coordinator at The Langham Hotel, Auckland and absolutely loving it.

ITC: What skills do you look for in new employees?

Jacquelyn: In a 5-star hotel environment we really look for two things: experience and attitude. Attitude is an employee’s main asset and can get you far in this industry. We also can’t lose sight that the main reason we are here for is for the guest, therefore service skills are paramount.

ITC: Describe a typical day in the job – what’s it really like to work for a hotel?

Jacquelyn: This is one job where what you see on the outside is certainly not what you get on the inside. Working in the hotel is challenging, demanding and extremely busy – there is never a quiet period. However, it can also be very rewarding. It is what you make out of it. No two days are the same that’s for sure – always expect the unexpected.

Pictured: The gorgeous lobby in The Langham Hotel, Auckland.

Pictured: The gorgeous lobby in The Langham Hotel, Auckland.

ITC: What are some of the best things about working in the hotel industry?

Jacquelyn: The hotel industry is very vibrant and the people around you are always more than willing to help. We have a value here at The Langham; ‘One team, One dream’, and that is lived by everyone every day.

Unlike other industries, the hotel industry is one that you can develop in and climb very fast. We have Sales and Events Coordinators that 3 years ago were Food and Beverage Attendants. Opportunities are endless in hotels. There are also other great benefits – here at The Langham we get free meals, complimentary nights in our overseas hotels and discounts when we use the hotel facilities.

ITC: What would be your advice for students looking to get into this type of work?

Jacquelyn: Gain work experience. If you can’t get paid employment do unpaid experience. Look at it as an investment to potentially getting a more desirable job later. Be sure that the hospitality industry is right for you. You need to be passionate about serving others and have the ‘nothing is too much trouble’ mind-set.

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