Student blogger Clarence Thang on ‘An Eye for Detail’
SINGAPORE – On Thursday, 6 November, 35 SIT students reading the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management degree programme attended a quality management talk which was organised by the Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals (HFTP) Asia Student Chapter. The event was held at the Singapore campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Guest speaker, Matthew Lim, Director of Guest Experience & Operational Excellence, InterContinental Singapore, explained to the students the concept of quality management. He said that quality management is an integral part of the hospitality industry, especially in view of how service standards are intangible and hospitality products are perishable. Lim added that maintaining a consistently high quality standard is a key differentiating factor in the hospitality industry.
Lim went on to share with the audience his work experiences and revealed some interesting encounters he had while working as a hotel valet as well as a server in an Italian restaurant.
He said: “You can never truly know what to expect out of a service encounter.” Lim shared about the time when he had broken a cork while opening a bottle of wine. He had expected a reprimand but the guest was understanding.
Throughout the session, Lim engaged the students with his cheerful and humorous disposition. Lim went on to talk about how quality control is implemented on a hotel property. These include making sure that the towels in the gym are ready and ‘listening’ online through websites such as TripAdvisor.
One of the key messages of the session was the importance of attention to detail — Lim said that in the hospitality business, it is imperative to have an eye for detail. To prove his point, Lim asked the audience if they had noticed that the clock in the room had stopped. In all, it was part of his job to take note of the smallest things which can make a big difference to guests and their experience.
Lim went on to speak about the Intercontinental I-Grad Future Leader programme, which serves as a placement platform for students upon their graduation as well as the programme’s selection process.
“When you become a leader, you will have to manage everything, so expose yourself to different areas when you start your career,” Lim advised.
At the end of the insightful session, the students left the event yearning to find out more about the hospitality business.
Final-year student, Jimmy Chan Kin Wai, President, HFTP Asia Student Chapter, said the talk, which doubled as a networking event, was important for the students.
“In the hospitality industry, the concept of quality is present in every touch point of the guest encounter. As such, it will be beneficial for the students to gain more insights from the industry professionals themselves in terms of how they have managed and exceeded guest expectations,” Chan said.
Clarence Thang is a student writer for the SIT blog. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Major in Hospitality Management) degree programme with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in partnership with SIT. In his free time, he travels.