Tim graduated in 2006 with a BSc in Hospitality and Business Management from Sheffield Hallam University. He is now a restaurants and bar manager with Qhotels.
I became a conference and banqueting waiter and porter at the age of 16 at a local hotel. I loved the job, and even in my role as a waiter, I had a lot of scope to use my initiative and interact with different people. That was when I 'caught the bug' and decided to pursue a career within the hotel sector.
In my current role, I am responsible for ensuring guest satisfaction in all areas of the food and beverage department, which remains paramount in this tough climate. This includes operating the restaurant each night and the bar in some cases.
Weekly tasks include organising the staff rota, ordering beverages for all bars, ensuring stock is carefully monitored and managing timesheets and payroll. I am also responsible for all departmental administration including health and safety and human resources.
The hours are sometimes tough when you are working weekends and your friends are off partying. However, the trick is to keep a balance between time behind the bar and time spent the other side. Because of the fast pace of the role and the hotel sector, each week is as physically challenging as it is mentally. The recession has made the last two years the most difficult I have experienced in my career and as a service industry we are obviously vulnerable to economic slumps.
My degree has definitely helped me progress in my career so far. It gave me a good overview of the hospitality industry and allowed me to develop my forte in food and beverage management. It has made me creative, innovative and cost/profit conscious.
I also developed many valuable skills in my course, like the ability to work in groups and draw on the abilities and strengths of team members. In the real world, deadlines have to be met with no forgiveness; the volume of work and strict deadlines at university gave me an early insight into those types of pressures. My degree also included a one-year sandwich placement providing me with so much quality, practical experience.
Graduates entering the hotel business need to be prepared to work hard and to be realistic about the demands that the role will place on your time and physical energy. Once in the job, don't be afraid to challenge the 'status quo' and make changes; view everything critically and look at how everything can be done better. I also suggest you take every opportunity to work with people. When running a hotel, restaurant or bar, you can't do it all yourself; by involving and developing others it makes for a happy and effective team.
Although specialising in one aspect of the hotel's management at the moment, I would like to continue working in the hotel industry and in the next six months take a step up into operations management. My ultimate goal is to be a general manager of my own hotel. In the meantime, I will keep working hard and continue to enjoy and get involved with the industry.
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