Why Industry Connections Matter: Alex Flanders’ BMIHMS Success Story

When Alex Flanders finished High School and was deciding where to study, he knew he wanted an education that came with industry connections.

Last year, he enrolled in his Bachelor of Business in International Hotel and Resort Management at Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS). The industry placement program on offer as part of this course was a deciding factor for him.

“I chose this course because I have wanted to attend BMIHMS since I met them at TSXPO when I was 14 years old. This passion has remained with me and I started my career in hospitality the next year to expand my skills when I entered the hotel industry.

I looked at other hotel management courses, but they did not intrigue me as BMIHMS did. This was a special course, which included industry placements where you can expand your knowledge through hands-on practice. This was a unique blend that I believed was a perfect fit for me” – Alex Flanders

Alex grew up in a sleepy suburb called Eaton Hill, in the north of Brisbane, Australia. During High School, he discovered a passion for serving others through volunteer work as a social justice advocate.

It was only a matter of time before he found his calling in the service industry.

“My dream job is to be a General Manager of a resort. I have had this ambition since I was 16.”

He began his course in the middle of 2018, and has one and a half years to go until his course is completed.

Over the first 2 years of this hotel management degree, he will live on-site with other students at the Practical Learning Centre, Leura Campus. This campus operates as a simulated hotel, where students like Alex get to be guests and staff! Students are fully immersed in daily hotel operations, covering everything from restaurant service to front office duties.

Over the course of his degree, Alex will undertake 2 industry placements. His experience at the Leura Campus will prepare him with everything he needs to know, to easily jump into work in a ‘real world’ hotel.

Alex has recently begun his first industry placement with Westin Hotel, Sydney, working as a Food and Beverage Attendant in the Lobby Bar.

“I have the privilege to interact with intriguing guests and work with an incredible team, whilst enjoying making alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for the patrons that we serve.

Not only do I get to make these beverages, but I also get to serve ‘high tea’ to our customers, expand my knowledge in the food and beverage industry, as well as make recommendations to patrons based on what alcohols they like.”

A real go-getter, Alex did everything he could to secure this internship at the first opportunity.

“I procured this role for my industry placement by applying via the Marriott Hotels career page, followed by an updated email to the HR coordinator at the time.

I was invited for an interview to work in banquets, but when I arrived at the hotel, they informed me I would be interviewed for a position in the lobby bar. Safe to say, they believed I was suited to work in this environment, and I was successful in acquiring the job.”

Getting started in the industry and in a career can be tricky, especially if you need to get some more experience. Luckily, Alex didn’t have to do everything by himself.

He also had a little bit of help from the supportive careers team and success coaches at BMIHMS.

“BMIHMS has helped me in my career journey with the assistance the success coaches bring and the industry connections they make available to you, as well as the training provided by the instructors. I believe being a BMIHMS student was significant in my gaining this wonderful hotel opportunity so early in my studies and life.

As it turns out, Alex is a food and beverage superstar!

Recently, he received some really amazing feedback for his efforts, when the Lobby Bar was secretly audited for staff performance.

“An annual audit was recently conducted on the Lobby Bar via management.  Unbeknownst to me, I served the mystery customers conducting the audit.  We received a score of over 97%, which is an increase of 6% on the previous audit.

I cannot pinpoint exactly how I achieved this, as I served the mystery customers the same way I serve all customers: with a smile and providing the best service I can. I simply put into practice what I have learned at BMIHMS and through my placement at The Westin. I always just follow my passion to serve, and do my best to shine.”

With an attitude like that, there’s no doubt that Alex Flanders will go far in his career, and end up in his dream job: managing his own International Hotel.

In the meantime, he’s got to focus on his studies and complete his internships, so he can graduate in a year and a half. Then, he’ll be free to go out into the world and impress everyone with his superstar skills.

So, what’s on the horizon for Alex, after he graduates?

“I imagine my career taking me overseas to jobs abroad when I graduate. My goal is to work in luxury resorts and hotels, so I can travel while I’m young, and see the world while I work!

Sounds like a great plan. Good luck, Alex!

If you’re interested in a career in hotels, see here for more information on the Bachelor of Business in International Hotel Management at Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.

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