For many, the thought of switching career paths can be daunting. But for Markus Loh, the transition from engineer graduate to hospitality student, sparked the discovery of his true calling. Having worked in a two Michelin star restaurant in his birthplace of Singapore, Markus developed a passion for cooking, serving and the culinary arts.
Together with the recognition BMIHMS at Torrens University retains in the asia-pacific region, Markus embarked on his studies in International Hotel and Resort Management because it was fast tracked, and combined a year and a half of study with a year of industry experience. In his second semester at BMIHMS, Markus commenced his first industry placement with Pacific Resort Hotel Group in the Cook Islands.
With the support of Careers Connect, Markus secured a position in a management training program on the remote South Pacific island of Aitutaki. Pacific Resort Aitutaki offer guests the finest, personalised service in boutique luxury. In his role as an operations intern, Markus was responsible for various tasks including food and beverage inventory, cross training at the front office, night auditing, waitering and attending daily operational meetings with resort managers.
“The beauty of working in a boutique hotel is that I was able to experience various departments,” says Markus. “I was closely mentored by the Food and Beverage Manager and General Manager and trained in an assortment of tasks.”
Throughout his placement with Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Markus received a unique and enriching learning experience. He lived in the local village alongside the resort, amongst the chief engineers and managers, and often attended managerial dinners with the CEO of Pacific Resort Hotel Group. The resort covered all of his living expenses, including flights, accommodation and meals.
In addition to these one-of-a-kind experiences, Markus was mentored by the resort GM to deliver site inspections of the property, to journalists and tour agents, from China, Sweden and other parts of the world. “Training and learning on a remote island like Aitutaki, was a fantastic experience,” Markus states. The small number of guests created a slow paced, intimate environment where my training was focused”.
Coupled with the tranquil turquoise waters and panoramic views of the South Pacific, Markus says experiencing the inner workings of a hotel group as his placement highlight. The support and mentoring Markus received from the F&B Manager and GM made a significant contribution to his development as a professional and the duration of his placement highly enjoyable.
Markus explains, “Completing my first placement with a boutique hotel was a great stepping block in my career. I was able to grasp the whole operation, and witness how a hotel group really works”.
Since completing his placement in the Cook Islands, Markus has already secured his second placement in Westin Sydney, as a revenue management intern. He chose this location not only because it retains a multitude of large corporate hotels, but because it presents the opportunity for Markus to fulfill his career aspirations and align himself with larger hotel chains.
Upon completion of his degree, Markus aspires to pursue a career in revenue management. He describes Sydney as an idyllic destination to study hospitality, due to its widespread abundance of cultural diversity. With this in mind, he plans to make good use of his time in Australia.