Amy Brennan

Management Trainee
Carton House Hotel
Ireland
Hospitality, sport, leisure and tourism
German and Sociology
2013

I graduated from Maynooth University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and Sociology in 2013. Although my degree would look as though it has no benefit to what I am doing at the moment, it has helped in many ways. I still use German regularly; many of our corporate guests come from Germany so this gives me a chance to practice my language skills. Sociology fits into many fields, it has taught me to analyse data such as statistics and to record data such as guest feedback. It has also allowed me to understand and work with people from all backgrounds. Studying a degree at Maynooth allowed me to learn how to manage my time while working and studying which is extremely important for me at the moment.

I started working in Carton House in my first year of study in Maynooth. I started off in the conference and events area of the hotel which meant that my role mainly consisted of working as a waitress at events such as weddings and corporate events. In 2013 I was in my final year in Maynooth, and I decided I wanted to study for my masters in Hospitality Management with DIT. From here, I was promoted to Management Trainee in the hotel, this meant that I could study for my masters part-time while gaining experience in the hotel at the same time

My role of management trainee involves working alongside all departments in the hotel. It is an 18 month graduate training programme. I spend on average 1-3 months with each department in the hotel. This means that I work alongside the departmental managers in each area. The areas which I have spent time in to date are accommodation, reception, events, reservations and sales. The goal of this training is to allow me to see the operational background in all departments and to learn how to manage these departments.

I love the unpredictability of the industry, no day is the same which makes it both challenging and exciting to work in. You meet new people everyday and it is a great feeling to know that the smallest gestures can make a big difference to people. In my current role I relive the “first day at work” every few months as I go through different departments. This is challenging as I must learn a new role every time but it is also enjoyable as I get to know many new colleagues. Hospitality allows you to be a people-person; it also provides many opportunities for travel.

I would say to be open to all options. It can be hard to know what to path to take; sometimes the field in which you have worked in part-time during college may be an option for you as a future career. Having a degree opens many doors; even in areas you never would have thought you would be able to pursue a career.​

What are the key skills/knowledge you use in your current role?
I use a range of skills/ knowledge on a daily basis in my role. For instance communication and organisational skills are extremely important. Because hospitality is a fast paced environment you need good time management skills and a good system for recording day to day meetings or tasks. Computer/telephone/ inter-personal skills are used daily. Every day you will use a range of these for taking reservations, checking someone into the hotel or dealing with an event enquiry.

(Submitted August 2014)