President University Alumnus Shares about his Successful Journey in the Hospitality Industry

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If some people feel the hospitality industry is not attractive and not promising, it is not the case with Ginto Hutagalung, a President University alumnus majoring in Management. Ginto, who graduated from President University in 2008, got his first job in the hospitality industry and slowly fell in love with the industry.

Starting from wanting to learn about Learning and Development, Ginto works as a Training Assistant at Alila Hotel Jakarta, which also works on HR operations. At that time, he still did not have a clear picture of his future career.

Six months later, the departure of the HR division supervisor and the absence of the Training Division colleague due to maternity leave made Ginto quite confused. “It was quite difficult to find a replacement for the HR Manager and Training Manager at the time so I was in charge alone. Whether I like it or not, I had to learn all about HR and Training in a short time,” recalls Ginto.

His perseverance in the face of quite severe challenges in his first job led Ginto to a golden opportunity, which later became the starting point of his career in the hospitality industry. “Within 1.5 years after graduation, I had the opportunity to become the HR Manager at Jababeka Grand Zuri Hotel. It was quite challenging because I managed all employees including the seniors there,” he said. Being a department leader at a young age, Ginto admitted that good stress management was one of the keys to survival.

In addition, Ginto believes that attitude is also an important key to success in the hospitality industry. Given the hotel industry is a business that offers services, dealing with a variety of characteristics of guests and clients, it could be draining the heart and mind. “Complaints from guests are unavoidable. But our attitude when responding to those complaints, that will make us different than others,” he said. According to him, complaints from clients should not be used as a disaster, but instead, become lessons to make the hotel where we work developed.

Ginto revealed, his experience at President University that uses English, played a major role in developing himself as an individual. “Back in college, every course there was always a part of the project and presentation, of course using English. Both are very helpful in building my confidence,” he explained. Having college friends from various regions in Indonesia have also helped him to have a high sense of tolerance.

Currently, Ginto works as a Talent & Culture (HR) Manager at the Novotel Hotel, Tangerang and, is chosen as the Chairperson of the Banten Chapter Hotel Human Resources Manager Association. He also has been invited to several seminars and international conferences held by universities to share his experience and insight on the hospitality industry.

It has been almost a decade working in the hospitality industry, he advised all students who want to pursue a career in this industry to enjoy the process. “The desire to be in a high position in a hotel after graduating from college is reasonable. But in reality, everything needs a process. I still remember very well, one of the lecturers at President University used to always say, ‘Be Exceptional’. You don’t want to be the same as the others. If others do one thing, we have to do two things. We must always be more than others. Mental like this will make us quickly glimpsed by the company,” he concluded.