Meet Shehbaz Gulamkader, a PIHMS Degree Graduate & the AICR 2021 New Zealand Receptionist of the Year.

07 March 2022

Shehbaz Gulamkader – PIHMS Degree Graduate & the AICR 2021 New Zealand Receptionist of the Year.

Introducing Shehbaz Gulamkader.

Shehbaz is a 2018 Degree graduate, who is currently working in the Hotel Industry. He was part of the team that helped with the pre-opening of The Hotel Britomart and is now currently working as a duty manager for the hotel.    

How was your time at PIHMS and what did you learn? 

My time at PIHMS was amazing, and something I look back upon with fond memories. I was given the opportunity to learn about the exciting world of food and beverage operations, learning the sequence of service, making the perfect latte. Second year we had dived into housekeeping and front office, making beds, cleaning windows to checking in guest and making reservations. The highlight of my time would be the mentorship and friendships with all the students, lecturers, and support staff. These people are indisputably the soul of PIHMS.   

How did PIHMS help you get from being a graduate to getting roles that you were interested in? 

Since my first year at PIHMS I was working towards the Fast Track Leadership Programs that companies offer. I was fortunate to get into TFE Hotels program after graduating. One of the entry requirements was 1 year work experience, accompanied by a recent degree in the field.  The PIHMS course was designed to be able to deliver on those requirements. After the program, I was able to grow my interest in the front office department, by being a part of the pre-opening team at The Hotel Britomart and working my way from a guest service agent to supervisor and now a duty manager.  

What made you choose a career in hotels? 

Going on family holidays as a kid. My favourite part was running around the hotel, raiding the dessert buffet, and jumping on the bed. Probably broke a vase at some point. That carefree excitement led me to believe this would be the career for me. I would get to play in part in making peoples travel journeys easier, more enjoyable and share in some of that delight! I would also like to think I have outgrown those habits I had as a kid, or at least some of them. 

What makes you passionate about your current role? 

When you are part of the pre-opening team, you have a deep emotional connection the to the property. You see it during the construction days, and you get to watch it blossom and come to life when it opens to the public. My favourite part is being able to showcase and share my knowledge of all the features, artworks and stories that made The Hotel Britomart what is it today.   

Is there anything you love in your current role that you didn’t expect you would.  

Not really, I had a reasonable understanding of what I was getting into! 

Any tips or tricks for any students that are interested in getting into the industry.   

Take the time to connect with industry professionals on LinkedIn, and I would recommend the career week at PIHMS (which is what I did). Another advantage of hospitality is that it’s one of those industries where there are plenty of entry level roles. Give it a try, the employer will teach you everything you need to know! 

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