Karl de Lacy
Degree subject Hospitality Business Management
Job title Director of Rooms Operations
Employer Marriott Druids Glen Hotel & Country Club
I now oversee eight managers and supervisers and their teams, but starting out I worked in a front desk position. In the summer before my final year at university, I worked for a hotel in Barcelona. This gave me the travel bug so I applied for a position in Atlanta. Over three years, I learned the ropes with stints in front-of-house roles such as receptionist and bellman and progressed to managing the front desk and training others.
Following this, I became part of a specialist task force in St Louis as Director of Housekeeping. Two years later, I decided to come home.
I'm now responsible for the operation of: the front desk, the concierge service, housekeeping and the spa. My role involves ensuring guests have positive experiences, managing costs and generating revenue. As part of the executive team, I run my department as if it were my own business and so I need financial acumen and an innovative mindset as well as good people skills.
Hours can notch up when there are problems to resolve, but I love standing in the lobby knowing from off-the-cuff feedback that guests have enjoyed themselves. Working in the US boosted my career – it encouraged me to prove my worth – and showed me you can advance quickly if you work hard; I plan to be a general manager of a hotel one day.