Monday, August 2, 2010

The Career

With the internship winding down, most students are doing some hard soul searching. Trying to figure out what to do with their lives now that college is OFFICIALLY over. I knew I wanted to be in the hospitality industry for about two years, exploring the globe is a dream of mine and working within a hotel is the best way to do that. There are so many different departments within a hotel that I am not just limited to being in the Front Office. I was approached several days ago by my supervisor and was asked how I would feel about moving within sales. SALES....are you kidding me!!!!???!?!? They say I am very smooth and can relate to a lot of people that stay at the hotel, so of course my first question was what are my hours? When I found out that I would be working Monday through Friday, I jumped at the opportunity to move upstairs (sales dept.). Maybe this would be my opportunity, my chance to prove to everyone that I can actually make it in this field.

So while my internship is winding down my career is just beginning, the experiences I have had and the relationships I have developed are ones that have groomed me to be who I am today. I will take the challenges as they come and smile on my face as each new day comes because life is too short to worry about complaining guests and upset co-workers. So for now I will be signing off but be sure to stop by the Montelucia Resort and Spa and experience a vacation unlike any other.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life in the Fast Lane

Wow, being back at the resort could not have worked out any better. After switching my internship from the CVB to a 5 star resort, I finally feel back in my element. The CVB again gave me great experience and really peaked my interest in sales but the excitement factor was not always there. Working in a hotel brings new challenges and new opportunities everyday and that is ultimately what drove me to continue working there. The fast paced atmosphere and the opportunity to deliver amazing experiences makes the hotel industry very enticing to me.

As I mentioned in my previous post about a problem that I had to overcome at work, I really love taking on guest issues. When a problem is presented in the front office I really like trying to solve the issue and come to a resolution. Being apart of the hotel and the unknown challenges each day could bring makes waking up and going to work very exciting.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Problems Are Problems

At a luxury resort guests are expecting nothing short of spectacular. Working at the Montelucia has allowed me to deliver these spectacular experiences to many guests, but with everything and everyone we please there will always be guests who leave unfulfilled. Being the summer months not many people are willing to travel to Arizona unless they have a reason. This has allowed the Montelucia to develop a highly strategical Summer Marketing and Promotional program offering rates under $100. This will of course still attract the luxury traveler, but at the same time it also attracts what I call the "Styrofoam Coolers and Cutoffs" or better known as The Cheap Guest.

The Cheap Guest (CG) loves to book amazing hotels at discounted rates, I mean who wouldn't? What you do not understand about CG is that he books great rates, and then strives to make every employee at the resort miserable until he gets everything imaginable complimentary. This guest abuses hotel staff and sincerity and takes being a jerk to a whole new level. There was one time we had a CG that complained numerous times about not having a pillow mint and wanted to have an upgrade and caused such a ruckus for one whole day and 3 different managers that he not only got an upgrade but a 35% discount at dinner. All for something that started over a pillow mint. At times I find these guests very frustrating, annoying, and relentless however it was not until a recent trip to Los Angeles for a two day music festival that I found myself demonstrating the CG's mannerisms.

I quickly take a step back now and realize that I started becoming the exact person that, the first time around, caused me to hate my job at the Montelucia and eventually end in my first resignation. Now with a second chance to come back and help the hotel grow and succeed I have a new outlook and attitude. To turn every CG into a guest with a spectacular experience.

It is time to focus on my career goals and by not letting the guests get the best of you is going to be the biggest challenge when starting at the resort again. I believe it is going to take a lot of work and a lot of hours letting my anger out at the gym, but to be able to deal with guest satisfaction is going to be the key to me advancing in the Front Office.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life After August....

So it is with every internship that an intern hopes to become an employee. This was not necessarily the case with this internship. Going into this phase of my college career I knew that this internship was for experience and knowledge and not necessarily a job. The CVB works with ASU every semester to help students fulfill their internship credits and obtain real work experience.

With this in mind, I began applying for jobs before the semester even ended in hopes that after the internship concluded I'd be able to go right to a job. I applied online, in person, through search engines, and newspaper ads. I tried EVERYTHING!!! It looked promising at first, however the phone calls and interviews slowly began to stop. The possibility of not having a job did not affect me because I had not even begun the internship yet. When beginning with the CVB I was so busy I did not even begin to think about post August. I know I know this is my career choice, my future, the next stage of my life, and I should be taking it more seriously right? Well, you are absolutely right which is why I was trying to make the right choice. Yea I had a few job offers, but it was not anything that was good for MY FUTURE. I did not need to rush into the first offer I received out of college if it was not promising for where I wanted to be.

It was around mid July that I received a phone call, from my previous employer wishing to speak with me. I wont go into many details, but I used to work for a luxury resort (as mentioned earlier on the blog), and my old boss really wanted me to come back and be a big contributor of the new Summer Development Plan he was implementing in the Front Office. It was after three meetings, numerous emails with Ms. Cody (our Internship Instructor), and a meeting with the CVB to finally be able to switch internships in order to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Why did I take a job back at the Resort I was so happy to be free from? Because I had a better understanding of where I wanted to be, and the hotel was the best route I could take. It was not until I started doing the "Assessing the Competition" exercise that I realized that I needed to return. I want to continue in hospitality, the opportunity for advancement are exceptionally high, and my goal is to move through ranks and end up in the hospitality industry somewhere on the west coast. I started Assesing the Scottsdale CVB and they work very closely with the Montelucia, and the steps that the resort are taking are very big, and if they are successful and I can be a part of the success I have a great opportunity to make moves towards my goals.

The CVB taught me great sales, communication, and marketing skills, and the hotel even wants me to take part as a possible sales associate in the busy Fall/Winter months. The CVB has given me great experience in a new sector of the tourism industry, and has allowed me to broaden my skills and be able to contribute more while trying to reach the ultimate goal. The CVB has definitely opened my eyes to a completely new side of tourism, and has allowed me to make myself even more valuable to an organization.

So it is not goodbye to the CVB but see you later...I have developed a relationship with several people in this short time and hope that our paths will cross again. As for the next step in my life, I am anxious and nervous but feel ready and prepared to enter the Real World as a Full Time Employee, without the student title.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Whats a Guy gotta do.......?

Economic Stimulus Package????? Why isn't our economy "Stimulated"???? Where are the overflow of jobs that this was supposed to create? What is different now than 4 years ago? Okay, there I said it, I'm DONE! Never will I talk about choices made by our government or anything else concerning politics on this blog EVER AGAIN!!!!! But I had to get my "shot" in, because I am still jobless and the economy is still in terrible condition. I am sick and tired of applying for jobs every day all day and all week just to get the same response, "We are currently not hiring" or "The position has been filled" or my recent favorite, from a very prominent resort Director "We have that job posting still up? I thought we canceled that position last year." REALLY?!?!?!?!? Whats a guy gotta do to get hired around here?!?!

I have applied over and over to many different sectors of the travel industry only to be rejected again, and again.....and again. I understand that the economy is slowly turning around, well then why is there not an increase in travel? Why can someone with a resume like mine not even receive an ENTRY level position? While I am still unable to find a career choice, I know have a new outlook on my unsuccessful job search. After a recent trip to the coast of California I found my next destination. Yes, correct, like 93% of Arizona's youth, I will hope and pray and convince myself that I can be successful in Southern California.

Recently I made a trip to Orange County to visit my aunt, and while my girlfriend and I were there we went to visit some of the local Beach Cities like Laguna and Newport. Now of course everyone would love to move to either of these two towns, they are beautiful and make you feel like you are in paradise. However while I was there I noticed all the tourists in the area. Both of these places were huge tourism destinations, and for obvious reasons. I began researching jobs in the area and while I can't give away too many of my secrets it looks hopeful that in the future I will be somewhere in Southern California ENJOYING what I do which is my biggest dream!

In my recent supervisor/intern interview my supervisor encouraged me to ask questions, be proactive, and never settle. I believe that is what stuck with me the most on how to be a good employee here at the CVB, and while I am not planning on staying within this type of field I believe those are good lessons to take with you when trying to achieve greatness. The interview laid out a little more structure with what I am supposed to accomplish from this internship, and opened my eyes more to the "sales world". At my old job it was more script and customer service, we followed strict scripts and had to always assist hotel guests. Here within a sales team, you have more freedom to do what you need to do to finish a task. I am going to take the skills that I have developed here during this internship and am going to find a successful career on the west coast. No more being hesitant, and no more worrying about the future, its time for me to MAKE MY OWN FUTURE. I encourage all of you to do the same!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are we being utilized?

Many of you when thinking about the word "internship" think of slaves in an office. I know that's what I thought. How am I going to survive the morning coffee runs, manual labor, and endless envelopes that need licking? The worst part was I had it in my mind that I was going to absolutely hate the place I worked for, I mean MESA....c'mon?!?!?!?! First let me tell you I feel comfortable enough writing this on here because supervisor and I have developed a friendly relationship and the funny thing is he is following this blog right now. ANYWAYS back to the story, the whole reason I chose this site was because my plans after college decided to collapse 2 weeks before the internship deadline and I frantically scheduled an interview. Funny enough I got a call the very next week asking if I wanted the position. Unsure what was next I took the internship and had peace of mind....for the moment. After being offered the position I needed to have all my paper work filled out and this is where I started getting negative feelings about this internship site. It took me 2.5 weeks to finally get a hold of my now supervisor, TWO DAYS before all of the paperwork had to be submitted, talk about almost heart-attack. My parents would not have enjoyed the conversation about how I am going to take the summer off to enjoy my graduation and start an internship in the Fall...YA RIGHT!!! When I arrived to my first day on the job I was nervous, excited, and I tried to have a positive attitude that this internship would open doors for me in the future. If I would have judged that last statement on my first day on the job I would have been DEAD WRONG!!!

I spent the WHOLE day looking through a visitors guide magazine, no one talked to me, I surfed the web, I sat in a 2 hour long meeting and had no idea what was being discussed, still no one talked to me.......and then I had lunch break. I was bored out of my mind, my previous job at the hotel was very fast paced and hectic and when I arrived here, one of the assistants told me to just hang out because it was super busy and Ill learn the ropes the next day. Busy? Not one phone rang, not one person walked into the office, I was a bit confused because Hotel Busy is like unorganized chaos.

Luckily I came back the next day and the next day and the next day, and then found out I'd be working all week long at a NCAA Baseball Tournament. Are you kidding me it was like a gift from God himself. Being an ex-ball player this was like heaven. I get to spend 15 hours in the beating sun and watch baseball. To most people this would be fun for 2 hours but I constantly stayed 8 9 or 10 hours overtime working from 8am-midnight on 3 consecutive occasions. I worked directly with the Director of the tournament, the conference, and the Stadium. It was almost like I was running the two clubhouses. This was an unbelievable experience for me, not only did I make some serious connections with people who I would not mind working with in the future, but I gained valuable event management experience.

In the end I realized that I had made the right decision with the internship I chose. It allowed me to realize that I want to shift my future goals away from the hotel and hospitality industry and more towards sales and events. I did not even know that there was such a thing as Sports Tourism Companies but after the first two weeks I have proved myself very valuable to people within these types of companies. What I am trying to say is that while I am unsure if I would want to continue within a CVB in the future, I do want to pursue sales and sports tourism.

This story was solely composed for comical relief to all interns that are stuck licking envelopes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can I get an Amen?!?!?!

For all the people who just graduated out there and still have no idea what they want to do, trust me you are not alone!!!! I thought three years ago that I wanted to travel the globe experience new things, live in a big city. That was 95% of the reason why I became a tourism major. I had no idea what I wanted to do I just thought that I needed to get out of Arizona. Being here my whole life I have done almost everything there is to do in Arizona and I have not had much exposure to any other areas. Now after 4 years of ASU and about 8 months of thinking I am not sure I am ready to leave. There is so much I could do and still enjoy the amazing state of Arizona.

The CVB has opened many doors for me even in the first 2 weeks. I have networked with some very important people in the Mesa East Valley Area. Do not get me wrong I would love to be in a big city with lots of culture, who wouldn't? What I was too ignorant to realize is Phoenix is a big city, it is spread out, there is plenty to experience and learn you just have to find it after a while. Now another big contributing factor for my recent change of heart and wanting to stay in Arizona is the amazing weather. I mean c'mon pool parties in February does not get much better than that.

The CVB has allowed me to work some pretty interesting events, and has allowed me to see how functions take place from a sales point of view. While my main goal is to be successful in a big city until I reach the time in my life where I am ready to make the big move I think Arizona will be just fine.