Last catch up with Student President, Lacey

04 May 2023

I, Lacey Rayoni am a 21-year-old, Hawera born and bred trying to move and become some big shot manager, living the big city lifestyle.  

Hospitality was always a hmmm and ahh for me. It was something I was good at and was always surrounded around. I mean I was 6 years old going to bar tables at a restaurant which my Aunty managed and my mum worked out asking to clear any plates or empty glasses. I was not keen on the idea or sure until I realised that when I was six years old my Aunty and mum were who I looked up to and the reason for that was I felt inspired by what they did. It was the small stuff that made me realise my choice just like when I used to play hotels with my sisters and I always had to be the receptionist checking them in, or how I worked at a small restaurant in Hawera and after a change in ownership trained my manager, and when I worked under my Aunty who managed catering and got in trouble for been 5 minutes late to shift which actually meant I was 10 minutes punctual to my start time not 15. It all rounds up to the long hours, busy nights and the exhausted adrenaline boost I got each and every time.  

My time at PIHMS have been quite an eye opener coming from a small town in New Zealand shows you how isolated we are to other countries, other people and other cultures. At PIHMS I have met so many great people who have walked a very different life to me and it has taught me a lot while also encouraging me to break away from the environment I so desperately wanted to flee. I set out to be great and really work hard to build industry connections for the future to become a successful female manager. I did exactly that in during both internships for Food & Beverage and Rooms Division. I became a valued member of the hotels I worked at and moved my way up into their team leader roles.  

 I am currently in my third year as PIHMS Degree Student and in the same role (Student President) as one of my seniors I looked up to in year 1, it has truly been luck and I just look forward to trying to offer students “something to look forward to” that is my aspiration during my time in this role.  

If you want to get into the hotel, hospitality and tourism industry, make sure you are ready to work. It’s a tough industry but there are so many opportunities and at any stage you are able to change departments and even industries. It is a great feeling when someone’s experience is great because of you. So, take the leap and start today!  

 (Piece of advice, there are some crazy bosses out there but learn from them because they always provide you with something to take away.)  

 Since you have made us this far and heard what I have to say. Why not get to know me on a deeper level?  

A fun fact about me….

  • I love to sing but I am terrible.   
  • I am a race car driver, but my friends think I am crazy and personally ban me, and it is your lucky day. 
  • One more, I really hate to read whether that be a physical copy of a book or a journal article on google scholar it does not matter because I will always be put to sleep when I try read. (One time I was reading a book on the train home and fell asleep 5 minutes into a 30-minute train ride and missed my stop.) 

More News From PIHMS

PIHMS Alumni Spotlight – Prerna Punjabi

Introducing Prerna Punjabi, who went from PIHMS Degree Graduate to Business Development Manager for QT Hotels, Auckland City. My time at PIHMS Embarking on a journey halfway across the globe,...
Read More about PIHMS Alumni Spotlight – Prerna Punjabi

PIHMS Alumni Spotlight – Ajinka Jagdale

Meet Ajinkya Jagdale, affectionately known as AJ by many. Currently serving as the Director of Hospitality at Shining Peak, an acclaimed brewery nestled in the heart of Taranaki. AJ's journey...
Read More about PIHMS Alumni Spotlight – Ajinka Jagdale

PIHMS Alumni Spotlight – James Cunningham

Introducing James Cunningham, who went from PIHMS Graduate to Business Development Manager for Novotel, New Plymouth. My time at PIHMS My time at PIHMS was incredible; I made some wonderful...
Read More about PIHMS Alumni Spotlight – James Cunningham