Studying, and living on campus with your classmates is an opportunity not all university students have. Attending lectures with those studying your degree, and living with them is pretty special – forging lifelong friendships.
Having people on campus all day, every day, means that someone has to always be on campus, ready to address any issues. And yes, that includes being locked out of your room. This helping-hand, looking after your safety and well-being is often a member of the student body, called a MSS – Mentoring Scholarship Student. An opportunity available to students identified by campus management as being responsible and trustworthy.
Interviewees Rishabh Vaish and William Mcloughlin, two International Hotel & Resort Management students at the Leura Campus, who currently work as Duty Managers agreed to share some of their experiences with us. Here is their interview:
It is a pleasure to have you here, can you tell us about your motivations to apply for the Duty Manager role in the first place?
Rishabh: The decision was mostly motivated by my career goals. Applying for the role was the perfect opportunity gain some experience so that I can move into front office, and other roles, when I graduate.
William: The biggest motivation was that you really take on a lot of responsibilities. I just have a mindset that when a lot of things are going on, I enjoy prioritising them, rather than trying to have them done all at the same time.
What are your responsibilities as a Duty Manager?
Rishabh: Mainly, ensuring safety in case of any unusual events, and keeping the campus in top-shape at all times. Dealing with students as I would do with guests, and having weekend or night shifts, which resemble being in charge of a property, since lecturers and managers are not around.
William: Being the point of contact after hours is a big responsibility. We must answer the Duty Manager phone, ensure security and make sure everything is working smoothly. We must time-manage properly, and be able to stay clam under pressure when problem-solving. It also involves treating students as customers; they are guests of our accommodation who just happen to be studying here.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Rishabh: On campus, it would be following the correct process even when I have to go against my friends. Showing authority to my peers because of my role and responsibilities; and getting them to understand it is not personal, but rather, a part of my job.
William: Probably trying to work out solutions for every unique problem. I try to relate to students, but know that when things happen, I have to be the one to fix them. It will help me, not solely throughout my career but in my life.
What has been the most unexpected skill or lesson you have obtained throughout this role?
Rishabh: I knew what I was getting into, so it wasn’t quite unexpected. But I have learned a lot during my time as Duty Manager. I have learned how to deal with frustrated ‘guests’, and take charge of a situation.
William: The ability to react quickly, because you either know the answer before-hand or must figure it out as you go. It is unexpected because now, instead of thinking and then acting, both happen at the same time, it’s a bit more autonomous.
Rishabh and William also mentioned that the role has given them the opportunity to improve their communication and professionalism. Developing in them an urgency to answer e-mails and phone calls, since becoming a Duty Manager.
Until next time, Adriana – Marketing Ambassador