Accor is a global hospitality group made up of 36 hotel brands that oversee more than 4,800 properties in 100 countries. Each year, Accor’s international workforce of 280,000 caters to millions of customers.
‘Being a large hospitality employer, we get quite a number of international students through the different hotel schools that we partner with,’ says Amy Watts, Vice President Talent and Culture at Accor. Generally, work placements for international students are paid and they can be full-time, or part-time depending on the students course requirements. ‘Once the placements are finished, students will often stay on in casual positions.’
International students are also welcome to apply for advertised jobs on the Accor website and Seek. ‘There are plenty of options for students,’ says Amy. ‘Hospitality sometimes gets a bit of a bad wrap—there’s a stigma that it’s just a job and lowly paid, which isn’t actually factual. Once you get into management and leadership, then it can be very well paid,’ says Amy.
When starting a work placement or interviewing for a role, ‘the most important characteristic for us is personality,’ says Amy. ‘International students should make sure they let their personality shine through.’
A willingness to listen and learn is also vital. ‘International students should go in with their eyes open,’ says Deborah Cunningham, Talent and Culture Manager at the Accor-managed Fairmont Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains region of NSW. ‘Don’t assume you know things just because you have a little bit of training—take in as much information as you can from your managers and the full-time staff around you.’
In return, the language skills and global perspective of international students make a positive contribution to the work culture at Accor. Providing a diverse mix of staff with different language skills can also help guests feel more welcome and at ease.
Working with different people from different cultures enhances us as individuals - Kritty Ghosh, International student
While studying a Bachelor of Business and International Hotel and Resort Management at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, international student Kritty Ghosh completed her work placement at the Fairmont Resort & Spa.
Located on the fringe of the world heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, the 4.5-star hotel is managed by Accor under their MGallery by Sofitel brand. The property boasts a 16-room wellness spa and special features including a children’s area. In addition, an ice-skating rink is currently being built.
After impressing hotel management during her placement, Kritty, who comes from India, was offered casual work as a food and beverage attendant. ‘Working with different people from different cultures enhances us as individuals,’ she says.
‘Five years from now I see myself working on a cruise liner—working here will get me the experience I need.'