Working in Las Vegas hotels: a Glion alumnus’ perspective
Glion student ambassador Fernando Guardia O’Kellys recently interviewed 23 year old Glion alumnus Diego Lozano Vara from Spain, for the Glion Gazette.
Hi Diego, It is a pleasure to have this talk with you and include you in this number of The Glion Gazette. Before knowing more about your current job in Las Vegas, tell us a little about your academical formation. Which bachelor did you course and where did you do your internships and how did you find your job in Las Vegas?
Hello Fernando, likewise. I graduated last year May 2015 and I did my bachelor in hospitality management. Regarding my training experiences, I did my first one in Mexico (Riviera Maya) at Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa and for the second one, a management trainee in Cambodia (Siem Reap) at Belmond La Residence d’Angkor.
Three months before graduating, MGM Resorts International went to Bulle Campus to recruit graduates, so I applied for a position as Management Associate in Hotel operations. The company owns 66% of Las Vegas Strip so it was a little uncertain in which of the casinos I was going to be working until I received an email with my placement position: MGM Grand.
Could you please explain us how is a normal day at MGM Grand , what is the more challenging activity you have to deal with?
Every single day at MGM Grand is crazy and exciting. The size of the hotel is absolutely unique with 5000 rooms by its own plus 2000 rooms at Signature MGM Grand. Some of the most challenging things here are communication and consistency.
With such a high volume, not only talking about guests but employees, it is hard to have everyone on the same page and be consistent in our operational procedures but every day the company is communicating better and growing in that sense.
The town of Las Vegas is a very unique place. What is it like working in Las Vegas hotels? The best and the worst of working there?
It is definitely a unique city. The moment you arrive in Vegas and you see slot machines at the airport, huge screens showing pool parties and clubs you realize is different.
The best: Its 24 hours schedule; you can do grocery shopping at midnight. The excitement of the city is also great, hosting some of the most important conference & events in the US such CES, UFC, Boxing, NASCAR, Pac-man12 and some of the best day and night clubs of the world with weekly lineups such as: Tiesto, Hardwell, Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki. Also, the city is close to national parks such as RedRock, Valley of Fire or Grand Canyon and 2 hours away from Los Angeles and San Diego.
The worst: extreme temperatures along the year.
There are many myths about this town also called “Sin City”. What is the most unreal experience or the most bizarre incident you’ve lived since you moved to the United States.
The most unreal…see a casino player bet $250’000 on a single hand of Blackjack
From the point of view of alumni of Glion. Do you think that the education you got in this school has determined your career so far? Do you feel your preparation was good enough to face the real world?
It has definitely determined it. However, I personally think that careers have two parts: education and work experiences. Both are essential for each other. When you finish Glion you have a lot of “raw knowledge” that obviously helps you to understand the industry. Nevertheless, you still have to teste it in the real work and shape it in order to grow in your career.
Las Vegas looks like such an amazing place to live, but maybe you can finish exhausted of the atmosphere that surrounds it. Your next steps are going to be linked to the same place or are you thinking in moving to somewhere else?
I would stay here for 3 years at most. It is a great place to start your career and the opportunities are endless but I don’t see it as a destination to establish myself.
Any advice for the students that finally are going to finish their degree?
Congratulations to all of you. If I could give an advice… something that really has helped me to plan my career is to know what my final goal is. Having a final goal in your career makes things easier when taking a decision. Making that set of decisions, the ladder to reach your career goal.