Kuala Lumpur Shines with Starwood Careers Day

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(Left to right)Budiman, Mr. Thompson and Shah
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No request too difficult for our sunny and creative chefs!

The Starwood Careers Day held in Kuala Lumpur successfully branded Starwood Asia Pacific as the hotelier to join, with many applicants flocking to the event. General Manager of Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur (Winner of Asia Pacific Divisional Starwood Careers Award 2012) , Harvey Thompson spoke to The Star about the unique Starwood Careers program and the many opportunities within Starwood Asia Pacific.

“Hotels are not easy to work in. The hours, guests and language barriers can all prove to be difficult,” said Mr. Thompson, whose career with Starwood has spanned more than 25 years. “One needs to be self-driven, curious, caring and possess initiative.” However, all employees at Starwood Asia Pacific can look forward to being a stronger contributor through Starwood Careers.

He explained : “The programme is structured according to participants’ own personal development needs... Our goal is that the talents get one thing out of their training which they can then apply to their leadership. We want them all to be leaders.” Mr. Thompson added that participants could look forward to enlarging their skills via transfers to related departments within the hotel and to other hotels under the Starwood umbrella, namely The Westin Kuala Lumpur, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur and Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral. “We want associates to be able to move. It gives them a fresh perspective and it’s invigorating to see something new. All the Starwood brands are different and by moving around you can see which one suits you the most.” Mr. Thompson has personally benefited from the global opportunities that Starwood provided, having moved from Australia to Kota Kinabalu and then Kuala Lumpur.

Here is his assessment of the opportunities to be found in Malaysia’s travel sector : “If you have a career in hospitality in Malaysia, you have a job for life. There are so many opportunities to travel and to progress. The hotel industry is growing and the dining experience is getting better and better. And the fact that Malaysians know two, three languages gives them an added advantage.” Also featured in the article was Le Méridien’s assistant sales manager (catering) Shah Rizal, who started as a part-time waiter at the hotel a decade ago. He was among the first batch of Starwood Careers candidates in 2012, which allowed him to go from supervisor to assistant manager in the food and beverage department before transferring to the sales department last year.

“Starwood Careers is a well-equipped and well-organised programme. We get so much support from the management team which is very important,” said Shah with pride. Also interviewed was Le Méridien executive sous chef Budiman Bistari Mohamed, who joined the hotel in 2006 as a chef-de-partie. Currently with the Starwood Careers program, he said : “I wasn’t confident of making decisions in the beginning but now I am, thanks to constant valuable input from my mentor. Starwood Careers has enabled me to engage with dining guests confidently.” The support from management and associates contributed to the success of the Kular Lumpur Starwood Careers Day. A big thank you to all.

Click on this link for the media article "A Job for Life".

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