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Hundreds of ambitious and talented young job seekers have been inspired to pursue a rewarding professional career in the hotel industry, at the first ever industry-led initiative the Hotel Career Expo in Sydney this week (May 16).

Students, graduates and young professionals attended the Expo and education seminars held at the InterContinental Sydney to meet, network and discuss the career opportunities available at 20 of the biggest names in the hotel trade, including Park Hyatt, Shangri-La Hotel and The Four Seasons.

The major hotel names put their normally competitive streaks aside, to join together to shine a light on the many and diverse professional careers available – from events and marketing, to engineering and finance in the hotel industry.

The Hotel Career Expo allowed attendees to meet potential future employers and gain advice about how to climb the hotel career ladder, not just from managers but also from young and successful individuals, currently working in the industry.

The NSW branch of the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) initiated the Hotel Career Expo in order to combat the skills shortage Australia is currently facing within the hotel industry.

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TAA CEO, Carol Giuseppi, said it was extremely rare to get the industry’s top hotel brands in one place, so what this event has offered is incomparable.

“I have received a lot of positive and encouraging feedback today which has been great,” she said.

“We are very excited to be able to provide such an event to young people, who want a head start in the industry. All the top hotels and industry leaders have thrown their weight behind this initiative and only by working together have we been able to achieve such a great result.”

Delegates were able to tap into a collective of experience provided by the speakers, which included Ronald Van Weezel, General Manager, Hilton Sydney, and Natalie Bussenschutt, General Manager, Ibis Sydney Airport.

The Hostplus Education Zone featured inspiring seminars covering a range of topics designed to answer questions about the hotel industry and provide helpful tips on how to carve out a professional hotel industry career. Topics included, ‘Busting the myths of working in hotels’, ‘Education vs experience’, ‘Managing your personal brand’ and ‘Resume and interview tips’.

Six Career Booths gave attendees the opportunity to access relevant information and an opportunity to speak to decision makers in relation to specific career paths. These included People and Culture, Engineering and Maintenance and Hotel Operations – Accommodation Management.

The Expo also offered a ‘Hotel Live Experience’, an exclusive program designed to give ambitious applicants the opportunity to gain hands on, behind the scenes experience within some of Sydney’s best hotels. Experiences included three month internships and five star dinners with department managers.

All eligible Expo attendees were also invited to apply for one of three scholarships valued at over $10,000, offered by Sydney TAFE. The winners will complete the Diploma of Hospitality Management (SIT50416).

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management