Step into the hospitality industry
Deciding on the career path you want to take is never an easy task. However, the hospitality sector has a wealth of jobs that gives young graduates or young students an opportunity to put their best skills to use.
Lubica Rengifo, multi property sales leader at Marriott Hotels, speaks about the best steps to take to start a career in the hospitality industry.
KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN
Lubica said: “One of the best things about hospitality is that there’s a wide range of job roles at all levels.
“No matter what your background and experience is, you can almost always find a job suitable for you. In hospitality they need people with a whole range of skills from operations and finance to IT and marketing.”
Prior to joining the hospitality industry over four years ago, Lubica worked in marketing and sales in the cosmetic industry for brands such as L’Oreal and Revlon.
As she began to travel with her husband, Lubica started to rethink her career and decided that she needed to be more flexible. While looking for potential career paths, Lubica found that the hospitality industry was very broad and as there are hotels all over the world, the opportunities were endless.
“If you move around the world, it’s very easy to find a job at a hotel once you have a little background in hospitality as it’s a very transferable skill,” added Lubica.
THE RIGHT ATTITUDE IS KEY
As in most industries, having qualifications in your field will help to set you apart from the competition. However, in the hospitality sector, having the right attitude is the deciding factor to getting your foot in the door.
Lubica said: “When looking for new recruits, it’s more about the attitude they have rather than their background. We are here to serve our guests so it’s very important to have an approachable, personable and service-orientated work-style, depending on the position you’re going for, of course.”
The attitude required can also vary between individual brands as they have different profiles and customer bases.
ADOPT A GO-GETTER MINDSET
Lubica said: “If you want to move across the globe or across different hotels, you can. Working with such a huge company gives you many options – there are already four Marriott hotels in Aberdeen, which isn’t even the biggest city in Scotland – so you can imagine how many opportunities there are.
“When you work hard at what you do, it’s recognised and you can progress very fast. I would always advise to set your goals high if you really want to make your career in hospitality as it’s not out of reach.
“For example, you can start as a reservations officer and then become a finance assistant. You don’t necessarily need prior training if you demonstrate a hard work ethic.”
JOIN A GRADUATE PROGRAMME
Voyage is Marriott’s 12-18-month, award-winning global leadership development programme, giving post-graduates the opportunity to experience different job roles throughout the hotel.
Lubica said: “There are opportunities to join the programme at many of our hotels and there is currently a young graduate on the scheme at The Courtyard hotel in Aberdeen.
“At the end of the programme, the successful graduate is given a supervisor position which gives them the choice of which career path they would like to go down.”
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE ISN’T NECESSARY
It always helps to have experience when applying for a new job, however Lubica explains that it doesn’t have to be related to hospitality as long as you can demonstrate that you are disciplined and organised.
“For those looking for a job in the hospitality sector, I would advise not to be concerned about the amount of experience you have. A small amount of experience can show that you can perform in a work environment and that you are punctual and can meet deadlines.
“Skills can be learned and improved and in hospitality, it’s more about building your knowledge of what the workplace is about,” added Lubica.
For young people who have little experience, this industry is always looking for casual staff for various functions.
Lubica said: “These roles are open to anyone as it doesn’t require previous experience or qualifications. It’s a great way to discover the work and what hospitality is about and for the company, it’s a very helpful way to spot talent.”
There are many low entry positions, making the sector very accessible for young people to gain experience and find out whether hospitality is for them.