Trevor Fernandes' story
I always wanted to follow my dad, who worked on a passenger cruise ship; he travelled the world and met many people. There was great competition for jobs on ships, so to achieve my ambition, I had to gain six or seven years’ experience in hospitality and I had jobs in hotels to do that.
I started working in a 5-star hotel as a trainee and within 6 months I got promoted to F&B waiter. I quickly became interested in the industry because it helped me meet people, understand their cultures and I made friends from different countries.
After more than 5 years experience in hotels, I got my first job on a cruise ship. I was happy I had fulfilled my dreams. I developed many skills and was able to grow my career to the next level. I had a contract for nine months and no days off. I worked hard but decided to quit because I missed my family.
I went to the UK and got a job with Accor as a night auditor which was a multi-skilled role. This helped me do different jobs, including reception, F&B, admin, housekeeping and maintenance. I did like to work in one place, so this suited me, and it inspired me to continue to work for Accor.
After five years, I saw an advertisement for a team leader at ibis budget in Cardiff. I was chosen for the job; I was already working for Accor and the hotel was the same brand. My general manager Fazmil Haneefa moulded me. He taught me so much; he showed me the work he was doing and within three months he promoted me his assistant general manager – I didn’t imagine I would achieve that so soon. I have many skills and I like to do everything, so when it is busy I still help in F&B, reception or housekeeping.
I am now developing the staff who work for me and whatever happens in the hotel, I am the first person to know and to solve any problems. If I can’t do it, then it goes to the general manager. In ibis, managers give lots of roles and responsibilities to team members because there aren’t many departments or senior staff, so my tasks are distributed to all receptionist and they are really happy to do my job because they want to learn.
Anyone new in the industry must have an open heart and mind. They will come to know people from different cultures and learn a few words of other languages. Hospitality is different from most sectors, people do not do just one job – there is F&B, reception, spa, kitchen, and if you don’t like one department, you can try another in the same hotel.
There are many benefits to joining hospitality. It looks after its staff; you do not only learn how to do the job you have when you join but you get a lot of training; Accor and the industry invest a lot in employees, which helps not just with the role you are doing but also promotes moving on.
- Trevor Fernades
- Assistant General Manager
- ibis budget Cardiff Centre (United Kingdom)