Graduate Story – Andrew Wood


Hospitality Management graduate, Andrew Wood


Like most of our students, Hospitality Management graduate Andrew Wood decided to join the industry due to the international career prospects. That and the fact he could “talk to people all day long”!


He decided to commence his journey with QRC after completing High School at Waimea College, because we are “led by industry professionals and it was based in the most beautiful part of the world!”


Andrew undertook his internship at the Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley Resort located west of Sydney, Australia in the stunning Blue Mountains as a Porter.  One of the biggest takeaways from his internship was reinforcing how fun and exciting the industry is and the importance of networking.


After graduating he headed back to Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley. Then it was off to Banff Canada where he worked in Front Office at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs. Next, he headed to London where he was a part of the opening team of a the Hyatt’s new 5-star property, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel.


Read on to learn more about Andrew and is journey since leaving QRC.


On The Couch with Andrew Wood


Why did you choose to follow a career in tourism/hospitality?
I always loved to talk and meet new people and from a young age had a passion for traveling and seeing the world. I was drawn to hospitality as I saw it as a gateway for me to explore the world and get paid to do it! Plus it’s a bonus that my job lets me talk all day!


Why did you choose QRC?
I decided on QRC as I wanted a strong base so that I could then go out into the industry with the knowledge already. From all the courses available at the time, QRC was the one that jumped out at me, it was fresh, fun, led by industry professionals and it was based in the most beautiful part of the world!


Where did you undertake your internship? (job/position)
My internship was at the beautiful Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley Resort in the Blue Mountains of Australia. My position was as a porter.


What was the biggest “take away” from your internship experience?
While I learnt an incredible amount of skills, my biggest take away from my internship was the friendships I made. The team I worked with way back on my internship showed me how fun and exciting the hospitality world is, and how important connections can be in our industry.


Tell me about your journey since leaving QRC.
After my graduation from QRC I returned to Australia to continue working at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley. After a year I decided a change was needed and moved to Banff Canada. I worked in the Front Office at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, the Castle in the Rockies, I was there for two years and loved every moment of it. My visa ran out and I wasn’t ready to return to New Zealand just yet, so I moved to London, UK. I was part of the opening team for a 5-star hotel called Great Scotland Yard Hotel in a very historic building. Unfortunately, Covid hit London while I was here and went through many lockdowns and restrictions that heavily impacted the hospitality industry. But QRC taught me to be adaptable and I persevered through. I am part of another opening team for the Nobu Portman Square Hotel in the heart of Marylebone in London.


Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Banff Springs

What role are you in now?
I am in Reception as the Departmental Trainer.


What are your main responsibilities?
My main duties include the normal reception role of interacting with guests, along with training and developing the reception team, updating and creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).


Can you describe a typical day at work?
A typical day involves welcoming and farewelling guests to the hotel an ensuring complaints are resolved. I spend time updating and creating new SOP’s. Being a new hotel, we are in constant change so I spend a lot of time trying to streamline the experience for both guests and staff. I then spend time rolling out these new procedures to the team to ensure they are followed and understood.


How did your time at QRC help prepare you for your current job?
My time at QRC gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and to try new things, to always work at 100% and to put everything into a role. With the opening of a hotel takes a lot of commitment and time, QRC exposed me to many industry leaders where I was able to see their passion and drive for the industry.


What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
I enjoy the interaction and relationships I get to from with both guests and my colleagues. I get to spend my day talking and from these connections which is what I love the most.


What are your plans for the future?
I would love to grow and develop with the Nobu brand, they are a fast-growing brand with many new hotels in the works. I would love to become a trainer or coach for new openings and be able to travel around the world.


What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
My parents always told me to put my heart and soul into my work. Then your passion will show through your work.


Any words of wisdom to young people starting on their career?
Enjoy every moment and get involved in all parts of your work, join all committees, join in work events. Show that you are passionate about not only your role but the full company.

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