Paving the way for an international hotel career

Hotel receptionist Tim Gordon has been named one of the best in the world in an international competition. But his ambitions don’t stop there. He explains why the hotel sector offers fantastic career opportunities.


What school qualifications did you attain and what subjects?

I finished NCEA Level 3 in 2012 and studied music, English, geography and IT (no tourism!)


Give us a brief outline of your study and career path since leaving school.

I attended a Career Week at PIHMS (Pacific International Hotel Management School) in New Plymouth, loved it, and enrolled straight after high school. I achieved New Zealand, Australian and Swiss diplomas in Hotel Management in 2015.

My first reception job after graduation was at the Heritage Hanmer Springs. I moved to Heritage Auckland via Heritage Christchurch in October 2016.


How have you seen your pay increase as your career has progressed?

Like any job, the more responsibility you have at the workplace, the higher income you will receive. If you are willing to work hard to reach the top, then the financial benefit will follow.


What have been the highlights of your career to date?

Highlights included being accepted as a receptionist at Heritage Hanmer Springs. More recently, winning the national Receptionist of the Year competition 2017 and coming runner-up in the International Receptionist of the Year competition 2018!


What are your main responsibilities in your current role?

Responsibilities include ensuring my guests feel like they are staying at a home away from home, that they arrive happy and leave happier. It’s about providing fantastic service so guests want to return.


What do you enjoy about it and what are the main challenges?

I love meeting people from other countries and learning from their cultures. I love recommending activities and hearing about the guest experiences. It can be challenging when encountering demanding/tired guests but I enjoy turning the negative into a positive for the guest.


What are your career ambitions?

I want to be a general manager in a 5-star hotel or hospitality business, and to work in multiple countries around the world to gain as much experience and exposure as possible.


Would you recommend a career in tourism and why?

I would recommend it if you want to travel, meet people and work at a fast pace under pressure. It’s an industry which is becoming bigger and more international by the year and will provide opportunities for growth and personal development in a rewarding career.


What attracted you to tourism?

The idea of working in a fast-paced environment with other people who also shared the same passion as me was a big pull factor when it came to the tourism industry. I wanted to travel to different parts of the world to gain experience and I felt tourism provided the best opportunity to do so.


What advice would you give to someone considering a career in tourism?

Just go for it and be yourself! If you love meeting and talking to people, then it’s the ideal career path and one that can be extremely rewarding if you work hard towards your end goal.