International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) industry training as a front desk agent proved the first stepping stone into the hospitality career of her dreams for ICMS alumna Susan Wang. Wang currently contracts for Marriott International on their Property Management Systems migration project. Her most recent full time role was the Director of Loyalty Operations, Asia Pacific, also at Marriott International’s Asia Pacific Continent Office in Hong Kong.
She traces her career upward trajectory to landing the industry placement she hoped for when studying her Bachelor of Hospitality at ICMS, from which she graduated in 2009. “The nine months industry training at Sydney Harbour Marriott, Circular Quay was a crucial part in my Hospitality Management degree. The experience paved the path to the start of my hospitality career with a strong skills foundation that instilled a real sense of the day-to-day operations of the hotel business,” Wang said.
“I also learnt the roles and responsibilities that each department had in order to balance the four pillars of hotel business –staff, customers, owners and stakeholders and community, to ensure the common goals were achieved.” Wang’s experience with the ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) team is that her goals and aspirations as a student were taken seriously. WIL is part of every degree at ICMS, with industry training built into every undergraduate and postgraduate degree.
Students are placed within ICMS’ network of over 1000 industry partners, and Wang’s experience shows how the program is personalised to meet an individual student’s needs. “What I really enjoyed during my time at ICMS was that the degree had both practical work and theoretical learnings to paint a holistic picture and set realistic expectations for me when I embarked on my professional journey.
The courses were all relevant to the industry and prepared me to navigate the business of hotels from line-level to senior leadership,” Wang said.This is all part of the ICMS Mentor Eco-system which is a key differentiator for the higher education provider located in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, and in the city of Sydney, near Haymarket. Focus on supporting students to achieve personal success in their professional lives sets ICMS apart and is what Wang experienced when embarking on the industry training at Marriot that would go on to change the course of her career and life journey.
“One mentorship that truly resonated with me, up until today, was with my Industry Placement Advisor (now called a Work Integrated Learning Facilitator) back in 2007,” Wang recalled. “I had expressed my interest in hotel brands and positions where I would prefer to undertake the industry placement program. My Industry Placement Advisor secured interviews with all the hotels that I had listed as my top preference and thoroughly prepared me for the interviews, from physical presentation to tips to set me up for success.
However, after a couple of interviews, all of the hotels had offered me opportunities in Food & Beverage, even though I had my mind set on joining the Rooms Divisions.“By this stage, I was pretty disheartened as the industry training period had already commenced and whilst most students in my term had already started their training, I was still without a job.
The Industry Placement Advisor told me to not give up on my dreams and not to settle for something that I did not have my mind and heart in it 100%. She then arranged for me to have an interview at Sydney Harbour Marriott and I successfully landed a Front Desk Agent role to complete the 9 months of industry training placement.
Fifteen years later, I’m still with Marriott International and it was also at that hotel where I have formed some of my closest and longest work relationships that turned into lifetime friendships. I was, and still am, so grateful to have met with such a caring, professional Industry Placement Advisor who treated each student as an individual and helped everyone to go after their dreams.”
Currently back in Hong Kong after a three month working stint in Australia, Wang has never looked back from her initial goal of working in the hospitality industry.
“The best things about working in the hospitality industry are gaining and sharing stories with guests and colleagues from around the globe,as well as the lifelong friendships formed and knowing someone in every corner of the world,” she said. “The opportunities and possibilities are endless. Of course, to be able to stay at some of the most gorgeous hotels in the world at industry rates doesn’t hurt either!”
For more information on the ICMS Bachelor of Hospitality, click here
Industry Training, News