At the close of last year Master of International Hotel Management student, Yvette Mildenberger, was crowned as the Australian winner of the 2022 AICR Australia Hotel Receptionist of the Year Award.
A big congratulations to Yvette from the team at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS). Yvette is a hardworking and ambitious student with a diverse professional background across hospitality, and staff and students at BMIHMS are very proud of her achievement.
Originally from Germany and the Philippines, Yvette graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism with a major in Travel Management at the age of 19. After working in customer service for several years, she opened two restaurants in the Philippines and went on to finish a Master’s in Business Management.
Studying International Hotel Management online due to the pandemic
During the pandemic, Yvette decided to enrol in her Master in International Hotel Management at BMIHMS. She began online before moving to Australia when the borders reopened.
“I chose to study a Master in International Hotel Management because it is a very dynamic and fast-growing industry with many opportunities in various fields,” explained Yvette.
“I chose BMIHMS because they are the best Hotel School in the Asia Pacific area. Their lecturers can provide real insights from the industry having all been working in it for years. Having this big alumni network is also definitely beneficial for all graduates. The Success Coach program is one of the best, assessing our skills and bringing out the best in us.”
In 2022, Yvette began working in reception at The Langham Hotel, Melbourne, where she was eventually promoted to Front Office Supervisor.
Yvette's award nomination while at The Langham Hotel
It was her exceptional performance while working at The Langham Hotel that earned Yvette her nomination for the AICR title.
“I was very fortunate to have been nominated for the award by Minyoung Lee, my Assistant Front Office Manager. My former Duty Manager Marieclaire Ranasinghe was the 1st runner-up in last year’s AICR competition, and her stories and experience made me curious enough to give it a try,” said Yvette.
The AICR in Australia is a three-part competition, where competitors are assessed through interviews and completing back-of-house tasks as well as role-playing customer service scenarios.
Competitors are assessed on the basis of performance in areas such as; conduct and confidence in dealing with a scenario, interpreting the scenario, negotiation and sales skills, problem-solving, guest relations and customer satisfaction.
This award has a history reaching back over 50 years and it’s an incredible honour to be recognised by this prestigious global organisation.
The International Association for Front Office Managers and Assistant Hotel Managers (AICR) was founded in 1964 on the Côte d’Azur in France by the head receptionists of several famous Grand Hotels. Since then, the AICR has developed into a dynamic international organisation represented in 16 countries, supporting and recognising hotel talent around the world.
“The AICR is a great organisation that focuses on friendship, human connections, and talking about the industry’s innovations, and newer concepts,” explained Yvette.
As the national champion of this prestigious award, Yvette will be going on to represent Australia at the AICR Global Receptionist of the Year Awards in Qatar this year.
“It is a very ecstatic and amazing feeling to be able to represent The Langham Melbourne and Australia on the world stage of this industry,” said Yvette.
“I will be in Doha, Qatar from February twenty-second to March first. I am very honoured to represent The Langham Melbourne, BMIHMS and of course Australia there. They all moulded me into the person I am now. The theory from BMIHMS, the actual experience from The Langham Melbourne, and the different cultures I came across here in Melbourne, all shaped me.”
As the AICR receptionist of the year, what does Yvette consider to be the most important factors shaping the exceptional front-of-house service in a hotel?
“I believe it is communication, flexibility, being very observant and providing each guest with a unique guest experience.”
Yvette Mildenberger is currently completing her course at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School Melbourne campus and is due to complete her course this year. She is an incredible asset to the Langham Hotel, Melbourne, where she is still currently working.
The team at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) wish her the best of luck at the AICR Global Awards later this year and in her future career journey.