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Holiday Inn trainee on a journey to leadership

Published on Friday, 04 Jan 2013
Marcus Wong
Photo: Edward Wong

Marcus Wong always wanted a dynamic job, so after graduating with a commerce degree he signed up for the “I-Grad Future Leaders Programme” at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong. He tells Wong Yat-hei how he hopes to use the programme as a springboard to management positions in the hotel industry.

What is your academic background?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce, majoring in hotel and food administration, from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

How do you start your day?
I start by checking my workbook, which is specially designed for the future leaders programme, and going through the learning schedule and checklist to get myself ready for the start of a new day.

I will then go over the hotel’s daily updates and attend the departmental daily briefing to both further familiarise and keep myself up to date with the hotel’s operations. I also meet regularly with the hotel manager, who coaches the future leaders programme. He has shared a lot of his valuable experiences with me.

What does your job entail?
I am currently in phase one of the future leaders programme, which consists of three training phases, each lasting for six months. The first phase is what we call the familiarisation stage, where we are exposed to different departments and get to know how they all work together to drive guest experience. I have completed training in the front office and now I am working in the kitchen on my F&B rotation.

What are the major challenges you’ve encountered so far?
My biggest challenge is processing all the information I learn every day and making sure that I have a thorough understanding of it.

What are your professional plans?
My immediate goal is to build my foundation in hotel operations to prepare myself to take on a more managerial role later on. I also plan on continuing my education to acquire a higher level of knowledge in the hospitality sector.

What advice can you give those interested in the industry?
Try everything out. You won’t know if you like the job until you really understand all of the different areas. It is also important to have a positive mindset.

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