Sage Advice For Wannabe Hoteliers Given at Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI)
Ian Wilson, General Manager of the Fairmont, Singapore and Regional Vice President Asia for Fairmont Hotels, joined the hospitality industry in Banff, Canada. He challenged the students, “How do you maintain and find your passion?”
Wilson made the comment that people these days are fixated on a cool career. He said that what was more important is to ask oneself, “What do I like the most, what do I like the least, and how do people describe me”. If you answer these questions honestly, the right direction will become obvious when faced with choices along your career path. He remarked that often the way people describe themselves is not related to the career ambitions they have. He urged the students to choose what they are best at, to consider what their natural talents are, and to determine what naturally motivates them. In Wilson’s opinion, “If you know what you are passionate about, and how it plays to your strengths, remuneration and position will come in time, as will success.
Liv Gussing, General Manager, Aman Resorts, Bali, shared her personal experiences in the industry with the students. Her key advice, however, was for the women in the group, “Women should align their own goals and values with that of the organization they work for. For instance, if you plan to have children, is it acceptable to have a child in your arms as you greet guests? Gussing herself has been fortunate to work with a company that allows her flexibility as a mother and as the General Manager of the hotel.
Students were given the opportunity to lunch with a mentor and later in the afternoon a “speed dating” session occurred where small groups of students were able to move from mentor to mentor and converse with the mentors.
Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management
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