Graduate Story – Dylan Mahaffey

Millbrook Resort

Dylan has worked in the hospitality industry since he was young, he’s always been keen to give everything a go. The fact that the industry is worldwide with so many opportunities he knew a Diploma in Hospitality Management was the right move to secure his dream job. Currently he is working as a Food and Beverage Manager at Millbrook Resort.

“You are your own brand, work hard and play hard!”

On the couch with Dylan

Why did you choose to follow a career in tourism/hospitality?

I’ve been working in hospitality since I was 13, I started off polishing glasses and pouring beers, learning everything by watching what was going on around me. 10 years later I’m now a food and beverage manager at Millbrook. I’ve always had a passion for the industry as it’s worldwide and there’s so many other channels you can go down.

Why did you choose QRC?

I knew QRC could help me fine-tune the knowledge I already had and open a lot more pathway opportunities.

Where was your internship and what was the biggest “take away” from your internship experience?

I did my internship on Hamilton Island which was great. It felt like my days off were on holiday which guests pay thousands to come and visit! As Hamilton island is all one big company it meant I got to work in all the food and beverage outlets and everyday was different. One day I was serving cocktails in the pool bar, next I was doing room service for Zendaya. My biggest takeaway was to try hard on internship as you are your own brand. If you put in all the hard effort now it will cement a good image of you to those around you and make coming back after internship a lot easier.

Tell me about your journey since leaving QRC.

Since graduating QRC Covid has been rampant and my plans changed a wee bit. I stayed in Queenstown for 9 months working at Millbrook Resort making my way up the ranks, then moved to Hamilton Island again for Covid to cut that short. Moved home to Queenstown again and am now back at Millbrook as restaurant manager!

What role are you in now?

My role now is Food and Beverage manager at Kobe cuisine. Millbrook’s Japanese restaurant. Kobe is one of Queenstown’s hidden gems and isn’t that well known like Botswana Butchery, Aosta, or Amisfield but is slowly climbing the ranks and with its fresh unique flavours is becoming one of Queenstown top restaurants in the area!

What are your main responsibilities?

My role is to manage the day to day operations of Kobe whether that is contacting suppliers about wines, maintaining all the cost and hitting KPIs. Making sure all the staff are engaged and happy to come to work everyday, maintaining staff can be hard these days. Lastly, ensuring that when guests walk through that door it’s an experience rather than just a dinner!

What do you enjoy the most about your current position?

I think what’s great about working at Millbrook is the awesome connections you get to make, with all the staff and the Millbrook members who are in charge of some of the biggest companies in the world so rubbing shoulders with them is pretty cool. Everyday doesn’t feel like a hassle to go to work which is awesome as it means I give it more and enjoy the job that I do.

What advice would you give to graduates or those going on internship?

Advice I would give to those about to graduate or go on internship would be give everything a go, don’t be afraid of making mistakes cause you never know where it might take you. You are your own brand, work hard but play harder.

Our Courses:

Adventure Tourism Management

Hospitality Management 

Machine Learning

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