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July 2016

Alumni profile: Kayla-Maree Hancock

Alumni profile: Kayla-Maree Hancock

“You might be working on a small cocktail party one day and the next on a four day incentive for 300 people to South Africa. You really do get the experiences of a lifetime.”

From front of house in 5-star hotels to fronting international events – Kayla-Maree Hancock’s career pathway has been exciting journey. After graduating with a QRC Hospitality Management Diploma, Kayla-Maree managed the events of one of New Zealand’s premier hotels before being hand-picked to work for a prestigious Australian event company. The variety, creativity and people of the event industry is what keeps Kayla-Maree “loving every minute” of her job. Read more about her story.

Where was your first job after graduating QRC?

While I was studying at QRC I worked part-time at The Rees Hotel & Resort Queenstown as a Guest Service agent. This role turned full-time once completing the Diploma. 

What has been your career journey since and what role do you do now?

After graduating I was promoted to Front Desk Supervisor and then onto Duty Manager within a year at The Rees. While working as a Duty Manager I was also responsible for managing the Events & Groups within the hotel. I worked with VIP groups including the Gibbston Valley Festival producers Greenstone Entertainment, managing small conferences and also internal hotel events such as Winemaker's Dinners. 

During the 2011 Rugby World Cup I assisted a visitor to Queenstown with a few things and after his stay he made contact offering me a role at his Event Management company, the Eventful Group based in Sydney, I said yes and within a few months I was flown over to join the team.                                               

I was with The Eventful Group for two years before seeking a new challenge and joining the event agency world with cievents. I have now been with cievents for almost two years now and loving every minute of it. 

In the agency world you might be working on a small cocktail party one day and the next working on a four day incentive for 300 people to South Africa, you really do get the experiences of a lifetime, both for yourself and for your CV.  

Describe your best/most memorable experience in hospitality.

Best experience; my favourite moment and the feeling I always remember is that gala dinner reveal. The entertainment amping up, the beverage staff in place and the delegates faces when they see what we have created. A close tie with the final wave off when the last delegates get in the transfer for the airport and were all done.


What is the attraction of working in hospitality and tourism?

I love the variety, every day is different; the people you meet, the challenges you face and the surprises along the way.

How do you feel your QRC qualification has helped you along your career journey?

QRC kicked off my love for the variety, the practical courses helped to develop my passion for great food and beverage. The shifts in various workplaces even Housekeeping enhanced my knowledge of all departments within a hospital environment and how they work together. Today this is very useful in my role, being able to understand what hotels/venues do and what they need from me to get it done. 

  • Posted By: Andrea Preston on Mon, 4th Jul 2016 @ 19:32:11