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Siddarth Khurana of IHM Hyderabad on cracking CLT

(Corporate Leadership Trainee, Front Office)

(Hyatt Hotels Corporation)   

  1. How your interest came into hotel management?

During my school time, I was a kind of student who used to take interest in science field and MATHEMATICS was my favorite one, which made me a way different from others, as most of the people do not like this subject at all. At that time I didn’t had any idea about what to choose as my career option so being a non-medical student; I was behind engineering what most of my colleagues were doing then. So I went to pursue my “so called dreams” in science fields by joining Vidyamandir Classes as an addition to my studies in my 11th class, but after about an year, I realized “what am I doing?” because I was behind the field which everyone wanted to pursue.

There comes this private institutional advertising pamphlet to my concern. I was not aware about this field called as HOTEL MANAGEMENT, Hospitality and all. So out of curiosity I referred internet on that and got every detail about this field! Now my mind changed and i was like let’s do something different! Next day I went to my parents stating that I want to discontinue my coaching classes, unlike other parents they supported me when I told them about the thing which was going into  my head, that I want to be different than others I don’t want to run behind the career options which everyone is up to! , Because people from my town rarely knows about something called as Hotel Management.

So filled in the form of NCHMCT-JEE and got a good rank and got admission into one of the finest institute in India for Hotel management (Institute of Hotel Management, Hyderabad). The interesting fact is that I got selected in IIT-JEE mains (B. Arch., paper 2) too but I left it as I wanted to pursue my career as a hotelier now.

  1. How was your experience at IHM Hyderabad?

IHM Hyderabad as I said is one of the finest institutes in Hospitality education. It is ranked 5th in the country by many national magazines! Initially students feel that the environment is very strict but as they spend time, they get to know that this is for their good only. Because people at IHM Hyderabad feel that “hospitality is not a profession but a lifestyle” and it has to be from within. .

The Institute gives you quality education and hand on experiences to hotel industry not only theoretically but practically too, that too not only through the college practical classes but through internships, national and international level events too.   

Ultimately everyone goes to a college to get a great job and I was lucky enough to get one of the best jobs through campus placements and believe me that it is one of the best institute for placements with 2 national awards for the same.

So, my experience at the institute was very great, I have learnt many life lessons too apart from what was being taught in the classrooms. One has to get along, be involved in activities and try to learn new things every day, be it IHM Hyderabad or any other institute.

  1. Certain people claim that what is being taught in colleges is totally different from what people actually have to do in the industry. What is your take on this?

To a certain extent I agree this statement that things taught at colleges is different from what people actually do in the industry! But what are being taught at colleges are basics which are just an older version (manual systems based) of what is actually done in the industry. This difference rose after the things started automatized. Although things are gradually being added in the syllabus and colleges are also trying the best to get trends like Property management systems and other software. But it does not mean that things are different which are taught at colleges, whatever the field is basic remains the same and so is hotels and hospitality. It’s just that every hotel has their own way to do it but the basic remains the same. Because it takes some time for a centralized body to install every new technology at its every unit! I feel that very soon the things will go hand in hand when we will compare actual industry and colleges.

  1. What are your opinions regarding the working hours in the hotel industry? How was your training? Where did you train from?

My Training experiences were excellent. I used to work for extra hours apart from my shift hours and got a hand on experience in Front Office department being my area of Interest and doing it from an international property Apart from which I have been through vocational trainings at and worked for different departments such as Food & Beverage services, Human resources, Food Production, etc. Apart from this I have worked at various national and international events representing IHM Hyderabad and also worked as a at during my college on weekends.

I do agree that hotels do have long work hours at least for few years after starting your career. The Average working hour depends on which department you work in regardless of any position. There is no fixed time. If any major event happening you might spend the whole day working. I as a Hotelier says if you are very passionate then only you can work in hotel but the situation is, it's for the requirements a person is working which is always confused with passion. Average working hour as per the rule should be 9 hours but due to huge attrition and increasing room inventory there is always a staff shortage in hotels. As per the reports Indian hospitality still has a huge deficit of skilled staffs. If we exclude working hours there is a lot to learn in hotels which ultimately benefits you in every service sector scenario. Due to increase in the scope of hotel management graduates, they are joining facilities, IT companies, warehousing, aviation, cruise lines, e-commerce, entrepreneurship etc. as they don't want to work so many hours unnecessary in hotels. There is no stop to a Hotel Management Graduate

  1. What would be your advice to the students who freshly joined hotel management?

  • I will advise the students who freshly joined Hotel Management that you have chosen a very beautiful profession.

  • Do not hesitate to learn, work and ask questions. Be curious about the industry even if you don’t want to continue with the industry in the future because it’s not only about the profession but it will lead you to a good lifestyle too.

  • Get hand on experience on your industrial training and don’t waste your time at any cost because you can do a lot of productive things in that time.

  • Try to indulge yourself 100% in whatever you do weather it’s a small task or a huge one.

  • If you are someone who comes from a Hindi Medium background, don’t worry you still have 3 years in hand and it’s never too late you can work on it.

  • Always be motivated, even if there is no one to motivate you, motivate yourself!

  • Be professional as that is what defines you! Be well groomed and open to opportunities.

  • It’s not necessary that you have to join a particular profession only; you can get into anything you want and desire to be directly as I said there is no stop to Hotel Management graduate.

  • Be proud of who you are!

Full Interview -