Updated 5 yearss ago
Some of the most successful people have started in entry-level positions and worked their way up in a business. Be open to opportunities to get your foot in the door with a great company.
Zeshan Husain stayed at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee after his high school prom and thought it was cool. He applied for a job there while he was still in high school, but didn’t make the cut.
After high school graduation and starting engineering courses at Valencia College, Zeshan applied again to work at the resort’s ICE! exhibit during the holiday season. He landed a job guiding guests through the winter wonderland exhibit.
Because he’s mechanically inclined, Zeshan initially thought he wanted to become an engineer. But the work he did at Gaylord Palms caused him to reconsider.
He was promoted from ICE! to safety services. While he enjoyed the work, Zeshan started looking for other opportunities. A personnel announcement came for a temporary assignment for someone with good typing skills. Zeshan applied. The task? Typing employee training manuals for each position within the hotel and resort. What may have seemed boring and mundane opened a world of possibilities for Zeshan.
“I never realized how many different positions are available and all the things that each position does,” says Zeshan. “I really got into it, and my mind was spinning about what I could do.”
Zeshan did such a great job with the manual project he was promoted to a coordinator position in the human resources department. He has now stepped back from the engineering track and is currently working with college counselors to explore the best degree for him to advance in the hospitality industry. He will qualify for Gaylord Palms’ tuition reimbursement program soon to help him complete his degree.
Zeshan has visions of becoming a hotel executive and is well aware of all the positions available from bottom to top. That temporary assignment turned out to be much more than just typing manuals, and Zeshan used it to his advantage. Regardless of what you’re doing now, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes and ears open to new possibilities.
Be Open to Possibilities
When Palm Bay native Jennifer Bosse heard about the hospitality industry as a career choice, her first thoughts were of restaurant management or catering — not something she wanted to pursue. She had earned a degree in marketing from Florida State University, completed internships in the Governor’s office and with a sports marketing company. She was a great candidate with skills, but no job. A friend was working at the front desk of a hotel, enjoyed it and encouraged Jennifer to consider it. She applied at Gaylord Palms and secured a position as a front desk guest attendant.
“I was pretty hard on myself, thinking I should have a better job than working at the front desk of a hotel,” Jennifer says, “But the thing is, I really liked it. I fell in love with the culture of the hotel and really enjoyed working with the team here.”
Within a few months, a position opened in the Gaylord Palms communications department. Jennifer applied and got the job. She is now working in her degree field, at a place she loves, within an industry where she can grow. Her time at the front desk was also valuable as she always reminds the marketing team to close the loop and be sure the front desk team is always aware of programs and services available to their guests.