Eventful life of hotel trainee
Attracted by the bright prospects of China’s rapidly growing hotel industry, Mandy Ye Peiwen pounced on an opportunity to develop her hospitality skills at an international hotel chain by accepting a place on the China Management Trainee Programme at The Langham, Hong Kong. “I was accepted onto the programme after completing my master’s in event management in the UK,” she says. “I believed that the experience in Hong Kong would prepare me well for future challenges.”
The 15-month programme focuses on developing the essential knowledge, skills and expertise needed to build a successful career in the hospitality industry. “My tasks range from project planning to banquet services,” Ye says. “This is helping me become proficient in a wide range of events operations.”
Ye says she is constantly presented with new challenges which keep her on her toes as she strives to develop her management skills and knowledge. “The programme is making me a more polished professional and I am learning to deliver ‘service with poise’, which is one of the Langham’s signatures,” she says. “I am also lucky to be part of a really wonderful, supportive team. This is something that gives me great satisfaction.”
One challenge she continues to face is dealing with client requests, which she admits is something that she is still learning to master. “As every event is unique, we face different challenges each time,” she says. “I have learned to always think one step ahead of our clients and anticipate their needs, in order to deliver an elevated client experience.”
In the hotel industry, delivering the best service often requires working overtime, she says. “For one overseas client we had to work around the clock with a number of different hotel departments because unexpected events kept occurring, such as guests changing their flights. That experience really gave me a taste of how the hospitality industry works,” she says.
In the highly organised and efficient environment of a five-star property, Ye believes communication, teamwork and leadership are essential. “Unexpected events happen so often that you need to be well prepared, adaptable and flexible. Those wanting to pursue a career in events also need a strong work ethic as overtime is inevitable – it’s the nature of the game,” she says.
“However, you gain so much in return – valuable work experience, professional achievement, a great sense of teamwork and the satisfaction that you are doing your part to contribute towards the hotel’s goals and objectives.”