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INDUSTRY ROLE MODEL CASE STUDY – Jennifer Randall, Event Co-ordinator, Gleneagles Introduction This case study consists of a personal profile of Jennifer Randall, an Event Coordinator at Gleneagles. It is based on a questionnaire interview. Many thanks to Jennifer and to Gleneagles for providing this information.

Background Gleneagles Hotel is one of the world’s most coveted 5 star resorts. It is owned by Diageo Plc and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Set in 850 acres of Perthshire countryside, Gleneagles is home to three of the top Scottish Championship Golf Courses and a wide range of exhilarating outdoor leisure activities. Throughout the hotel guests will find the finest comfort – from the elegant restaurants to the luxury bedrooms and the calming environment of the spacious new destination spa by ESPA. Located within an hour’s drive from the international airports of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gleneagles Hotel is a unique place to escape for business and pleasure. Events Services

“If you are organising a business event, a conference or a special celebration in Scotland, you will find The Gleneagles Hotel is a practical and inspirational venue. Situated in Perthshire, just one hour away from the international airports of Edinburgh and Glasgow, it’s easy to locate. The hotel has a variety of private function rooms – from contemporary meeting rooms to elegant suites. A wide range of group leisure activities at the resort will keep all your guests entertained and you will enjoy the support of a dedicated event manager.”

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The staff team at Gleneagles takes care of the big picture and the smallest details, to ensure each event runs smoothly from start to finish. The experienced in-house events team and guest relations help to bring celebration ideas to life, whether arranging an event just for two or for two hundred. From the initial enquiry to the end of the event, the friendly Scottish hospitality and wealth of knowledge helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Staff can help arrange transport, menus, entertainment and professional photography – and much more.

Some examples of how Gleneagles can make an event really special include transforming the ballroom into a black and white themed masquerade ball for the evening; arranging for guests to take to the floor to learn traditional Scottish country dancing; organising visits so that guests can venture further afield to nearby castles and palaces, galleries and distilleries. Testimonials: "Gleneagles is the perfect venue for groups of any size. The service quality and standards are maintained to the highest level. To host a golf competition with 450 attendees for three days without any complaints speaks volumes for the event management and quality." 450 attendees, June 2009 "Thank you so much for all the work you put into our event – our guests truly had a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience and that was due in no small part to the time they spent at Gleneagles. What an incredible property – from the beautiful grounds to the golf courses, restaurants, activities and the glorious heated bathroom floors – you’ve thought of every detail." 17 attendees, October 2009

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Interview Name: Job Title: Location:

Jennifer Randall Event Co-ordinator Events Services, Gleneagles Hotel

1. Why were you attracted into the industry? After leaving secondary school I was looking at my career options. I was attracted to the Hospitality industry because, at that time, I wanted to manage my own restaurant, club or pub. 2. What was your first job in the industry? My first job in the industry was when I was 17. I worked as a banqueting waitress in the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Gourock. This was part-time as I was studying Hospitality Management at University. 3. What educational qualifications do you have and/or training at work? How have these helped in your career? At Secondary School I gained 7 Credit level Standard Grades and 3 Highers, English (B), Maths (C) and Physical Education (B). I also obtained an A in Intermediate 2 Hospitality in 6th year. These grades meant I gained access to the BA Hospitality course at Glasgow Caledonian University. As part of my second year at University we had to undertake a 3 month work experience in the industry. Hotel Managers from America came to the University to interview students who were interested. Out of 50 interviews, I was one of the 6 who were chosen to work in America. I worked in ‘The Orchards Hotel’, Williamstown, Massachusetts for 3 months as a restaurant and banqueting waitress. At the end of the Internship the management offered me the opportunity to go back after I had finished my 3rd year and gained my BA. I, of course, took them up on this offer! Throughout the initial work experience I was able to put my course skills and knowledge into practice and learned a lot from this experience. On my return to the Hotel after I was awarded my BA in Hospitality Management, I gained a supervisory position and managed the restaurant on a day-to-day basis. As it is a small 49 bedroom hotel, the restaurant staff also worked at banquets. This was when I first started to work in Events. My decision not to stay on for a 4th year at University is, I feel, one of the best decisions I could have made for my career. I decided to gain experience through working in the Industry and have learned a lot more than I feel I could have learned from a 4th year at University. On return from my Internship I was offered a job at The Gleneagles Hotel. I worked as a Restaurant Hostess organising reservations in the hotel restaurants and from this position I gained a Supervisor position in one of the Restaurants. Throughout my experience as a Supervisor I worked within the Private dining Springboard Education at: http://education.springboarduk.net and http://resource-gateway.co.uk To contact us directly email: education@springboarduk.org.uk

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area of the hotel. From working in this area I began to realise that this is where my passion lay.

I enjoyed working operationally on events, however when the Event Assistant position became available I felt it was the right time for me to move. My knowledge from being in an operational position has certainly helped me on my career path within Gleneagles Events Services. 4. Did you have a mentor who encouraged you during the early stages of your career? If so, who and why were they inspirational? I didn’t necessarily have a mentor throughout the early stages of my career, however, my colleagues at the hotel in America were like mentors. They were all from different backgrounds and countries and we all learned a lot from each other. 5. What do you regard as being your biggest achievement to date? Gaining a position at The Gleneagles Hotel. 6. What industry ambitions would you still like to achieve? I would like to continue working within the Events industry as this is where my passion lies. 7. What gives you a buzz about your job? I am lucky to have a job from which I get a lot of satisfaction. The lead-in time for the organisation of some events such as weddings can be over a year and being there on the day to see your hard work go to plan is very satisfying.

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8. Why would you recommend the industry to potential recruits? The Hospitality events industry is extremely rewarding and I would highly recommend it to potential recruits. You have the opportunity to meet many different people and to build relationships with clients. 9. • • •

What are your top 3 tips to people entering the industry? Gain lots of work experience. Have great communication skills. Be willing to work, some may say, unsociable hours

10. What are your main tasks in a typical day at work? 0900hrs – Arrive at work (however if I have an event in-house which has an early start I will be in from 0730/0800hrs). From 0900hrs and throughout the day – Check my emails and respond to clients. If I have an event due in I will be particularly focused on that event. On occasions I speak with the Chef to discuss menu options for clients. Working in a large resort hotel means I have to liaise daily with the Florist department, Restaurants, Leisure Club and all activity outlets. Throughout the day – speaking with clients over the phone discussing rates, event themes, wine choices, entertainment etc. Anytime throughout the day – meeting potential clients and doing internal/external show-rounds. This entails liaising with the outlets to ensure someone is on hand to meet with the clients when we arrive at their outlet. Throughout the day if I have an event in-house – with some events I find that I spend more time operationally with them rather than at my desk. I like to be on hand for my clients as they have booked their event at a 5* establishment so they expect a 5* service. 1730hrs – On a normal day I will finish at 1730hrs. However if I have an event inhouse who have a dinner on-site I like to be around for cocktails so some nights I will finish at 1930/2000hrs. Weddings are different being that I like to be around all day until the first dance, so my working day will end at 2100/2200hrs. 11. Are there any other comments you would like to make? I have been working at Gleneagles for 5 years and have thoroughly enjoyed my learning experience to date. I feel that Gleneagles have been very supportive in my career and have always pushed me in the right direction. They have been supportive by arranging for me to attend Management Development courses and Intermediate/Advanced wine courses. In the future I hope to gain an Events Management position. Gleneagles’ Vision: 'To be the most desirable resort hotel in the world’ For further information plus details of careers and job opportunities please visit: www.gleneagles.com Springboard Education at: http://education.springboarduk.net and http://resource-gateway.co.uk To contact us directly email: education@springboarduk.org.uk

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Glen Eagles Case Study Event Coordinator