General Manager NZ Hotel Operations, SKYCITY Entertainment Group
Master of International Hospitality Management
The variety is what he loves most about his career, says AUT hospitality alumnus Colin McClean who completed a Master of International Hospitality Management in 2006 and is now the general manager of NZ hotel operations for the SKYCITY Entertainment Group.
“The diversity of my role as a general manager is without a doubt what I enjoy most about my working day. My role includes a lot of project work, which brings fresh challenges to complement the daily operational responsibilities I share with the rest of our team.”
Since first joining the hotel industry in 2005, Colin has worked in a number of leadership roles for different hotel groups, including managing the Ibis Wellington and a range of business development, sales and marketing roles for the Accor group and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He moved to SKYCITY in 2015, working as a hotel manager and the director of sales before taking up his current role in late 2019.
Colin’s proudest achievement in his career so far? The next goal ahead.
“I tend to feel that there's so much more ahead; so much more still to be done. I'm excited by that.”
The right university environment
Colin still fondly remembers his time at AUT.
“I enjoyed the small classes and the close contact with the lecturers. Having easy access to lecturers really helped to get quick and valuable feedback during the learning process. The programme content was contemporary and highly relevant to the hospitality industry, and I enjoyed the team-based work.
“I appreciated that AUT held lectures outside standard business hours, and the academic staff encouraged me and provided guidance during the most challenging periods. Having access to people who had been there and done it themselves was powerful and invigorating.”
He would highly recommend the Master of International Hospitality Management to other hospitality industry professionals.
“My postgraduate study helped me make major leaps forward in my ability to organise ideas, identify trends, and present information in a professional and succinct manner. I also enjoyed being able to do my master’s degree dissertation on employee turnover in the hotel industry. I would absolutely recommend this programme to other hospitality professionals.”
Maintaining the AUT connection
While it has been 15 years since Colin graduated from AUT, he often encounters other AUT hospitality and tourism alumni in his career now.
“I think AUT alumni have a real ability to balance practical skills with contemporary theoretical knowledge.
“Their university education at AUT provides them with a strong base for success in the hospitality industry, and makes them highly employable,” says Colin who has a number of fellow AUT alumni working in his team.