General Managers and Hotel Owners who met for a
recent Operations Career Track Advisory Board Meeting hosted by
the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI) had
sage advice for the Masters of Management in Hospitality (MMH)
students - be passionate, with strong people skills in order to
succeed in the hospitality industry.
Bobby Horrigan, Vice
President and General Manager Operations Hotels, Discovery Suites,
Philippines, opened the session by telling the students that to
survive in this industry they must have the right attitude.
entertainer,” Horrigan encouraged. “Make it seem like it is a
party every day.”
“Furthermore, to be a good hotelier you
have to have the characteristics of a General, to be able to
enforce discipline and yet to be a good brother/sister, or parent
to mentor your staff,” Horrigan added.
Ian Wilson, General Manager
of the Fairmont, Singapore and Regional Vice President Asia for
Fairmont Hotels, joined the hospitality industry in Banff, Canada.
He challenged the students, “How do you maintain and find your
Wilson made the comment that people these days
are fixated on a cool career. He said that what was more important
is to ask oneself, “What do I like the most, what do I like the
least, and how do people describe me”. If you answer these
questions honestly, the right direction will become obvious when
faced with choices along your career path.
He remarked that often
the way people describe themselves is not related to the career
ambitions they have. He urged the students to choose what they are
best at, to consider what their natural talents are, and to
determine what naturally motivates them. In Wilson’s opinion, “If
you know what you are passionate about, and how it plays to your
strengths, remuneration and position will come in time, as will
Liv Gussing, General Manager, Aman Resorts, Bali,
shared her personal experiences in the industry with the students.
Her key advice, however, was for the women in the group, “Women
should align their own goals and values with that of the
organization they work for. For instance, if you plan to have
children, is it acceptable to have a child in your arms as you
Gussing herself has been fortunate to work with a
company that allows her flexibility as a mother and as the General
Manager of the hotel.
Students were given the opportunity
to lunch with a mentor and later in the afternoon a “speed dating”
session occurred where small groups of students were able to move
from mentor to mentor and converse with the mentors.
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