Ngaere is out there doing it!

16 March 2023

Ngaere Ward – Front Office Supervisor

My PIHMS Journey

During my time at PIHMS I met a lot of wonderful, impactful, and amazing people and lifelong friends from a variety of backgrounds. PIHMS helped me a lot with my confidence and it still to this day is building. No two days are ever the same. PIHMS taught me a range of valuable knowledge, helped me to grow as a person and develop relationships with people I would never have thought possible. I grew up living the country lifestyle and it was a big change. However, it was something I was passionate about learning and held many aspects of what I wanted as an industry to have in a job. 

I was very much study focused while at PIHMS. For some people they were able to write an essay in one night, however, for me it would take time. I find I cannot sit still for long, and my focus would easily get distracted while completing assignments. I strived to do the best I could and always tried to aim high learning as much as I could from the various classes and lecturers we had. On completing my Degree this paid off with myself being announced Dux. Going above and beyond is something I still aim to do every day at work. From helping someone with their bags, unloading tour buses or going over an array of activities in the local area with guests at our concierge desk. To just listening and talking with guests about anything and everything for a few extra moments because you see they need that. This is only a small portion of what PIHMS has taught me. 

The next step for me was…

After completing my studies at PIHMS I applied to be a Corporate Management Trainee with the Millennium Hotels and Resort Hotel Chain. I was accepted into the program in which we were given more practical experience within their properties across New Zealand. For me this was to really develop the knowledge I had gained to find myself in the industry. 

I started off in the Copthorne Hotel Palmerston North, travelled then to the Queenstown Properties, followed on to Te Anau, Greymouth, Corporate Office Auckland and now am based in at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua. I have worked in a variety of roles from porter, receptionist, central reservationist, night auditor, all roles in housekeeping, food and beverage/bar attendant, conference attendant, maintenance, manager on duty, purchasing and finance, Human resource, sales etc.  

I have just completed the program and have been offered the position of Front Office Supervisor. My position includes being a receptionist/reservationist, the Airbnb Manager & Porter Manager. The job just seemed to grow as opportunities came up. My daily work life includes managing bookings, revenue, rates, and regular site inspections of the Airbnb property/s we have. I also complete rosters, costings, hiring and general meetings with the porters all on top of my daily Front Office duties. 

I chose this industry because it combines everything I like

The travel, guest interaction and building connections internally and externally were all huge drivers in me choosing the Hotel and Hospitality industry. In college I was always indecisive of which path to take, I liked cooking, accounting, business studies, tourism etc. Yet did not want to just settle for one or have a straight office job. The industry combines parts of all aspects in which I enjoy, has flexibility, and keeps you on your toes as no two days are the same. 

Having worked for the Millennium Hotel and Resort chain for the past 18 months on the Corporate Traineeship program the most surprising thing that gets me every time is when someone new walks in the door or calls up and knows who you are and more about you than you know about them. Or when a familiar face enters that has stayed at another property you worked at, and you can have that connection as well with the guest. 

Here are some of my quick tips and tricks

I cannot highlight it enough but say yes yes yes to opportunities where you can. Step outside your comfort zone. Ask plenty of questions. Take risks. Try something new and face the challenges head on because only then will you excel. The industry is one that can be so diverse there is always something you will find that just makes sense to you. If not directly in the industry the opportunities that you can branch out into are limitless.

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