Vice President, HVS Executive Search
Lacey Hagen, Vice President, HVS Executive Search, will provide insight into her experiences as ...
Young Professional Profile: Katie Murray, TradeWinds Island Resorts
In the hospitality industry, sales is often considered one of the most difficult departments for fresh graduates to enter. Hotels typically look for sales associates with experience in preparing and negotiating contracts, a network of clients, and a proven track record for hitting and exceeding their sales goals. The first “Young Professional Profile” is dedicated to Katie Murray, small meetings manager at TradeWinds Island Resorts, who was able to not only break into the sales department immediately after graduating, but was able to meet and surpass the high expectations of her superiors, co-workers, and clients.
Education: Indiana University
Graduating Class: 2010
Degree: B.S. Tourism Management
Career Progression: Activities Intern, TradeWinds Island Resorts; Catering Sales Manager, TradeWinds Island Resorts; Small Meetings Manager, TradeWinds Island Resorts
Lacey Hagen: Could you describe your current responsibilities as a small meetings manager?
Katie Murray: I handle the small meetings market (10-19 rooms on peak) for two resorts on St Pete Beach, FL. TradeWinds Island Resorts are made of the Island Grand, a 4 Diamond Resort, and the Sandpiper, a 3 Diamond Resort. My main responsibilities include soliciting and booking group business that enables the hotel to meet or exceed revenue goals in rooms, food and beverage and meeting room rental.
LH: What have been your biggest accomplishment(s) during your two years at TradeWinds?
KM: My biggest achievements so far were being promoted within the company two times in two years and also becoming a “100% Club Member” in 2011. The “100% Club” is for anyone in sales who hits 100% or more of their room-nights goal which is set at the beginning of the year. They are invited to a dinner and awards ceremony, then given a plaque in recognition of outstanding sales effort and goal achievement.
LH: What have been the biggest challenges you have had to overcome during your transition from a student/intern to a young professional?
KM: TradeWinds took a risk hiring me as a catering sales manager at the age of 23 with absolutely no experience in that field. I challenged myself to work extra hard and prove to the company that I was the right person for the job. My main duty was to book and service weddings at the resort so earning the respect of my clients and co-workers at such a young age was not always easy. When I would meet with my clients for the initial site tour you could bet that the majority of them asked me how old I was right off the bat. I was confident, worked hard and built my reputation one step at a time.
LH: Any advice for other young professionals?
KM: Do an internship. The only way that I was able to get my first fulltime position at TradeWinds was because the sales managers knew me from my internship and were able to get a trusted reference from my direct boss in the activities department. When you have an internship, whether it is paid, unpaid, full-time or part-time, always try to show the quality of work you can produce and what you can bring to the table. You never know what positions can open up and who will take notice of your skill set.
It's also important to be open to relocation. I was raised and went to college in Indiana. I could have accepted internships closer to home but I recognized that TradeWinds would be the best opportunity for me career-wise. I went outside of my comfort zone, only planning on staying for the five month term of the internship, and ended up happily staying in Florida and establishing the next phase of my life.
And don't forget to be confident. You are not going to know all the answers at first but take the time to research the answers to those questions. Don’t be afraid to ask co-workers and shadow them during any downtime. I learned a lot in my first year just by listening to my associate interact with clients over the phone.
LH: Where do you see your career progressing?
KM: My goal is to eventually become a national sales manager for the TradeWinds. It is always good to clearly define what your next career goal will be. I know what I want and will do whatever it takes to get there. Right now that means working hard and focusing on being successful in my current position.
LH: Finally, do you see any trends becoming popular in the small meetings market?
KM: Incentive travel is making a comeback. More and more companies are rewarding their employees for hitting their goals and/or having a successful year.
Next Up's “Young Professional Profile” will be a bi-weekly post that profiles young professionals in the hospitality industry that have achieved success and are making an impact early in their careers. If you work with or know anyone that would fit the criteria of being profiled, feel free to contact Lacey Hagen at email@example.com.
Saturday, May 25, 2013 by good seo
4czNUC Thanks so much for the article.Thanks Again. Cool.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 by digital camera guide
WuYPOL Im thankful for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 by buy cipro
This is one awesome article. Awesome.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 by generic viagra without a prescription
Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Much thanks again. Fantastic.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 by cheap cialis
wow, awesome article post.
Friday, March 15, 2013 by 10mg levitra
Awesome blog post.Much thanks again. Really Great.
Thursday, March 14, 2013 by buy viagra
I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by buy viagra 100mg
Im thankful for the blog article.Much thanks again. Cool.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by buy cheap viagra
Thanks-a-mundo for the blog.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by viagra online
Really informative article.Really thank you! Will read on...