Claire Shortt

Hotel Events Co-ordinator, The Westin, Dublin

Degree subject Business and Event Management

Job title Hotel Events Co-ordinator

Employer The Westin, Dublin

Hospitality has been the only career sector that has ever interested me; I started working in a B&B when I was 16 and haven't looked back. Before going to college, I worked with my current employer, first within Conference and Banqueting, then Food and Beverage and finally reception.

Event management for hotels interested me at this point so I decided to return to college to gain the qualifications to progress far in this area. The course necessitated a work placement in a hotel. I took this at the Westin Hotel Dublin and was subsequently offered a permanent post. I now work with my team to manage events, which covers everything from the initial enquiry to drawing up a proposal to the follow-up call after the event.

I work closely with appropriate departments, including Conference and Banqueting, to ensure the event runs smoothly. Working in a hotel is different to working elsewhere: this is an office job with a real difference! The skills I have learned are valuable throughout the hotel industry and everyday life. The ability to connect with people so that you can understand their perspective is key to producing the best work. The extent of the work can be a little daunting but I love the buzz that working in hospitality, especially Events, can create.

My next goal is to continue cross-training with our Sales and Marketing departments so I can achieve a better understanding of the relationship between Sales and Events.

Advice for graduates

Although you will be managed and work within teams, working life is very different from college and you should be able to use your own initiative.