What happens when you start thinking in a different way, what if you don’t follow the herd?
The answer is very simple, you will start finding yourself and will enjoy your life in every field, whether it is about personal or professional life.
Meet Peggy Kuo Zhou, a passionate, smart and upcoming top-notch hospitality professional, who instead of joining the crowd, made her own decision and now she is among the new shining hospitality gems to take the responsibilities of such a demanding and ever-changing industry.
I am glad to share her experience in Hong Kong. The most interesting thing about her experience is that she learned and enjoyed what she was doing. This made her realize that making mistakes as an Intern was the only time that would be forgiven. If you understand, it will surprisingly turn into your experience. Let’s take a dive into her journey in her own words.
Tell me something about you?
I was born and raised in Asuncion, Paraguay. I am currently studying hospitality management at Les Roches, Switzerland. I like to travel, eat, exercise, take pictures and hang out with friends during my free time.
During my studies at Les Roches, I traveled around Europe and conducted two 6-month internships in Hong Kong. The first one as a Guest Relations Intern at the InterContinental and the second one at Swire Hotels central support office as a Marketing Intern.
What made you join Hospitality Industry? Is it your decision and what you love about working at hotels?
When I was graduating from high school and when everyone around me was looking for universities, I didn’t know what I wanted to study. At that time, I realized that the tourism in Paraguay started to slowly expand with new shopping malls, hotels and restaurants opening in Asuncion.
So, I decided to choose a different career from my friends and started to search for the best hospitality universities around the world. And here I am, at Les Roches!
Slowly, I started to like this industry. I would like to work in the hotel industry to gain more experience and one day become an owner.
Can you describe your Job Title and your duties you perform on daily basis?
My first 6-month internship (2015) as a Guest Relations intern at the InterContinental Hong Kong, I was in charge of completing the daily GR check lists such as:
-Exercise teamwork and quality service through daily communication and coordination with
-Provide guest with prompt service, professional attention, and personal recognition
-Provide guests with information including Loyalty Program, area attractions, restaurants and facility information
-Greet guests upon arrival and to interact effectively with guests
-Respond appropriately to guest complaints and feedback, to support continuous improvement in guest satisfaction
-Conduct routine inspections of work and guest areas and take immediate actions to correct any deficiencies
-Conduct room tours and inspections when required
-Station in lobby to welcome and greet guests upon arrival and departures (Lobby Ambassador)
-Prepare guest amenities and welcome letters for VIPs, long staying and special events guests
-Obtain guest information for future arrival guests from sources and communicate to relevant departments
-Update guest profiles regularly with accurate information
The second 6-month internship (2016-17) as a Marketing Intern at Swire Hotels and my responsibilities include:
-Conducted market research for different projects
-Participated in photo and video shooting for both hotels and restaurants
-Supported the team for restaurant development and promotions
-Prepared restaurants EDMs to be sent to guests
-Blog post for Swire Hotels Social
-Revising internal newspaper for all properties over the world (Spanish and English version),
-Revising EAST Hong Kong website revamp
-Ensuring brand voice across brand (The House Collective vs EAST)
Any particular area in which you are interested?
I am interested and attracted to the Rooms Division department.
What’s your experience in Hong Kong? Do the culture and tourism here helps you to deeply understand the topic?
I learned and enjoyed my first 6-month experience with the InterContinental, so I decided to go back for the second and last internship with Swire Hotels.
Hong Kong is very small and packed with buildings and people. The city is dominated by skyscrapers. However, you can also easily access to mountains, beaches, and forests within a few minutes’ drive. On the other side, Hong Kong is full of expats where ever you go, you can find all kind of cuisines and cultures. This also helped me understand the importance of diversity and always having a chance to interact with different people. The transportation is very efficient, the tram (my favorite), MTR and taxis were all a few steps away from my apartment and working place. To sum up the 1-year experience, I was exposed to totally different kind of lifestyle from which I wasn’t used to (a fast and packed city with loads of tall buildings).
What advises and suggestions would you have for the interns and would you recommend Hotel Management as a career opportunity to the upcoming students?
Being an intern, there’s no need to be afraid of making errors or asking questions. One of my previous colleagues told
me that as an intern, it is the only time that your errors will be forgiven. Finally, learn as much as you can from your colleagues even if your job tasks are limited.
I do recommend the hotel industry for everyone who is passionate about service. However, you must bear in mind that the industry operates in a highly competitive environment. This means you will devote most of your time dealing with guests’ request and long working hours and responsibilities rather than on a trip during the weekend with your friends or family. The good thing is that the industry offers abundant opportunities to work internationally, exposing you to a dynamic working environment where every day will be a completely different day with different guests and tasks.
I think this is the best advice to the interns, to be not afraid of their mistakes and to keep on learning. The day will come when you’re able to understand your tasks without making mistakes.
Thank you so much, Peggy, for taking the time to answer these questions and I believe you are going to be a star in this industry. As an intern, I wish you all the best for your future in Rooms Division Management.
Should you have any questions and inquiries or have any suggestions for me or the website, then don’t hesitate to share your comments below.