Guy De Cuyper
Guy De Cuyper's Story
Great things come from leaving your comfort zone. I never try to step away from difficult situations because sometimes you can go for the easy solution, which you think will look good, but it is better to move forward and achieve more. For example, I worked in a French-speaking hotel at the beginning of my career, which was a challenge but it allowed me to learn the language much better and to grow from there.
Working in hospitality from such a young age gave the opportunity to learn about a specific area quite early. I have met many people who are still struggling to find the right career path who are my age. I had a dream from the start, I knew where I wanted to go. In hospitality, you don’t need a degree or a lot of experience to start in an entry level position and that’s where I started to develop quite young, from age 16; I was working on my degree while getting some experience. Hospitality school starts at 14, it is an operational training and I moved to a hotel management degree when I was 18.
Accor support office gives me a completely different view of the industry. I am used to being in a hotel and the support office gives more of a helicopter view of what is going on, since I am working for 38 hotels in the Benelux. It’s a great experience because we work with general managers directly and I it is very interesting to see what is going on, which will feed into my next position. The 38 properties are across all Accor’s brands within AccorInvest portfolio, from eco to premium properties, and that gives me a broad view of a range of operations, size of hotels and locations.
I want to go back into a hotel, I prefer to be in contact with guests and I miss that. I can return to my hotel position to re-open the greet hotel we were planning to launch before I came to the support office; I am very lucky to have this temporary position but I look forward to being in a hotel again and be the opening General Manager for greet Brussels Airport Zaventem.
To people who have just entered the industry, be yourself and go for it, push out your boundaries. It is great to be able to influence people’s daily lives, that is very powerful. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and reach as high as you can. In hospitality, people are allowed to make mistakes and to learn by them.
And to someone who is looking for a job, hospitality is not an industry for a particular kind of person; whether you are introvert or extrovert, whether you want to work with people or not, you can do what you like, the sector is open to everyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is. Even in a first job, you don’t need any experience in hospitality, since you will learn very quickly on the job.
- Guy De Cuyper
- Project Manager - Operations
- Accor Benelux (Belgium)