A ‘STEP’ Forward To Produce Top Hoteliers

Taylor’s University and Starwood Hotels & Resorts collaborate to groom new generation of graduates in hospitality

Students of Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts (TCHT) can look forward to a golden opportunity to work with the leading hotel company – Starwood Hotels & Resorts, as both renowned names in the hospitality education and hotel industry decided to collaborate in the Student Employment Programme (STEP) recently.

The one-of-a-kind partnership aims to provide top students of TCHT a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train with Starwood Hotels & Resorts South East Asia, while providing the hotel group with an avenue to map its long-term recruitment plans and secure future talents.

Mr. Pradeep Nair, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Taylor’s University, commented that the partnership is going to bring benefits to both parties, as well as the hospitality industry in general. “We, as one of the best hospitality education providers in this region, partnering with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, one of the best hotel companies in the world, are the perfect match to enhance the employment opportunities available to our students upon graduation.”

“Starwood Hotels & Resorts has been a company that we’ve been eyeing for to join the STEP programme and we are extremely thrilled that this collaboration can finally materialise. I am confident that together, we will be able to produce quality future hoteliers for the industry.”

Mr. Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice President, South East Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts commended the STEP programme as being the perfect platform for students to gain real-world working experience in established hotels and resorts in Malaysia and beyond, even before they graduate.

“It is an honour to be able to work with Taylor’s University. We are a global company and Taylor’s University has students coming from different countries around the world, which allow us to not only provide internship opportunities for these students to work in Malaysia but also in our hotels back in their home countries.”

“We, at Starwood, are dedicated to push young students to be challenged and we are ready to open the doors of opportunities for them to take on the challenges and to grow with us,” added Mr. Abbott.

The signing ceremony, held at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, also saw representatives from the hotels under the Group; among them are Mr. Hratch Khatchanian, General Manager of The Westin Kuala Lumpur; Mr. Harvey Thompson, General Manager of Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur; Mr. Paolo Campillo, General Manager of Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Pn. Meliza Mohamad, Director of Training, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur.

Under the STEP Partnership, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will adopt a selected group of students pursuing Bachelor of International Hospitality Management (Hons) at Taylor’s University and prepare a series of specially-designed training sessions, workshops and seminars to expose the students to the operations and expectations of the hospitality industry.

The students will also be given opportunities to attend up to 28 weeks of industrial trainings in any of Starwood’s properties in South East Asia and ultimately secure a job offer, if they performed well.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,146 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®.

This is the fifth STEP Partnership for TCHT, following its four other successful STEPs signed with Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts Malaysia, Hilton Worldwide, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. The first batch of STEP students under Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts Malaysia graduated with flying colours where most of them were hired before they even graduated, to take up positions such as managers and corporate trainees in the international hotel chain.