The Marine Hotel Troon: Aimee Parkin

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We chat with Aimee Parkin, Sales & Marketing Manager at The Marine Hotel Troon. Aimee studied International Hospitality Management at the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Her first post was in the front office of the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel before starting a 9 year career with Radisson, part of the Rezidor Group. Originally an Events Coordinator, 4 internal promotions saw Aimee rise to be MICE Sales Manager. Then, whilst she was on maternity leave, Rezidor made large scale redundancies. Opting for redundancy, Aimee took up a role as Sales Manager at Principal Hayley’s Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow which was her last post before joining The Marine Hotel, Troon in January.

What drew you to a career in the hospitality industry?
Travel and tourism is the 21st century’s fastest growing industry, offering a career path that spans the globe with the opportunity to meet new and exciting people. Yes, often the shifts can be long and tiring, but you will rarely find someone within a hospitality positon who doesn’t have a passion for it. Hospitality is all about people not just about revenue and spreadsheets; it’s about making people happy. It involves great variety, not only in terms of the hours you work, but also the work you do during those hours. I love the variety my role brings and the social side of meeting people from all walks of life and nations.

What is the best bit about working at the Marine Hotel?
It is never a dull day and no two days are the same! I am a team of 1 which means I need to be efficient and proactive to ensure my sales targets are met. I get to interact with all different types of people and work with a fantastic and diverse mix of people which is rewarding in itself. We hire people on skills but mainly personality, which is why the hospitality industry contains some of the most vibrant, lively and fun people you’ll ever meet. Putting a smile on our guests’ face is the outcome we strive for.

People in your role often move around a lot which can put pressure on family life. Is this good for getting experience or do you find that it affects your opportunities for promotion?
I have managed to progress internally in my employment alongside starting a family, so I feel that I have been fortunate to have the balanced life I desire. My daughter is almost 20 months old so the opportunities for regional positons that have arisen are not something I would currently pursue however they are definitely on the horizon. The hospitality industry has a great reputation for looking after its own and rewarding those who work hard to develop the career they choose. I have been extremely lucky to have supportive General Managers, all male so far, who have taken an interest in how I wish to pursue my career.

Men generally reach the top positions in the hospitality industry. Why do you think this is? 
I think nowadays this isn’t always the case. Women have a lot more say and opportunity within the workplace now which is fantastic. In our hotel our General Manager is male yet 7 out of the 9 senior management roles are all female. I think this shows how the world is changing and the perception of it being a ‘man’s world’ is diminishing. The hospitality industry demands a multicultural, multigenerational workforce. The industry does not discriminate – it enables.

I love the variety my role brings and the social side of meeting people from all walks of life and nations

The Marine is one of the host hotels for this year’s British Open Golf. Do things run differently during a major event like this? 
We are delighted to be the host hotel again for the British Open and to be part of such a fantastic event that is coming to Troon. The global exposure this event gives The Marine is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we have to offer. There has been a great deal of organisation involved on our part and a close working relationship with the R&A has developed to ensure that we are offering the highest specification of food, beverage and service. To be honest though this does not differ from the service we normally offer our guests. We offer the same professionalism to all of our guests as we value everyone that visits the Marine.

What advice would you give to women looking to get ahead in the hospitality industry? 
Regardless of whether you are male or female, it is important for you to identify what you want out of your career and to pursue those goals. Strong family support will enable you to invest your time from the start and gather a broad range of experience needed to succeed. The biggest myth is that women can’t have a family and a successful career. The skills that make a good business leader also go a long way to balancing the responsibilities of work and family life. These include dedication, trust, drive and organisational skills. Remember, us ladies are multi-taskers!

The most important factor in determining whether you will succeed however isn’t your gender, it’s you. While you may be friendly and social, you also need to act and communicate as a leader, with the understanding that you alone are responsible for your destiny. Pursue new skills, be confident in who you are and finally, love what you do and do work that you are passionate about.

To find out more about what The Marine Hotel Troon has to offer, visit their website