Operations Manager, ibis Budapest City (Hungary)

Roland Viglási

Roland Viglási's story

When I was a child and had to decide where to go after elementary school, I wasn’t sure until a school dropped a flyer through the door, promoting jobs like steward and hospitality, and my mother encouraged me to become a steward and fly all over the world. That’s how I chose the school and hospitality became my first choice because when I was 17, I went to Germany for three months to a small hotel, a pension, and worked in reception, the restaurant, accounting, reservations; that is when I started to love hospitality and decided I wanted to work in a hotel.

When I finished secondary school, I went to the Budapest Business School to study tourism and catering and that is when I had a six-month internship at Accor, followed by an opportunity to join the company for a fixed term and when that came to an end after three months, I joined the Mercure Budapest Korona as a receptionist. I went through all the stages in front office, at the time, one of my colleagues was creating a guest relations desk (now guest experience), and I worked with her, which gave me more contact with frequent guests at the hotel.

Then I had the opportunity to do a talent development programme for about a year, which included all the training available at the Accor Academy for heads of departments and leaders. I was only a receptionist but I got the chance to participate; I learnt all the theory and practice and as a result, I was promoted to front office supervisor at Mercure Korona – that was the first big step in my career; I was a shift leader within the team. I think people thought I did this well because two years later I was offered a job leading the front office team at ibis Styles Budapest Center, where I soon became front office manager.

At that point, I won the best front office leader award out of all the Hungarian Accor properties – I was happy and proud about that. Later, when I was confident about front office and was looking for new challenges, I started to pick up knowledge about hotel operations from my general manager and this was fun; it was more than a front office manager usually does, and it really motivated me.

At the end of 2021, there was a position in ibis Györ, which I applied for and did not get, but I was offered my current position, which did not exist before – I am grateful to Accor, that they saw my potential!

We have quarterly service nominations, usually colleagues or a leader nominate you and general managers or management choose who receives it. I have received this several times in Mercure Korona and ibis Styles Budapest Center as well. It’s for stepping outside your job description or because you do a really good job so that customers mention you in reviews or in feedback.

I am also very proud that since the summer, I have been part of the Bloom programme, which ends in June 2023. This is a complex development programme for aspiring general managers and is organised by Accor Northern Europe.

To anyone coming into hospitality, start at the beginning, at entry level. Young people now want to become GMs or leaders immediately but you can’t do this without hands-on experience in the field. My first advice is to start as receptionist, waiter, chamber maid, reservation agent, and get experience.

And now that we have such staff shortages globally in hospitality, if you have the dedication and passion to search for opportunities, to develop your skills and challenge yourself, you will move on faster than would have been the case before. If you are brave enough to step outside the box and if you are good at what you do, you will succeed.

And to anyone looking for a job, if you like to surprise people or make them happy, this would be a good reason to join the hospitality industry because this is what we do every day, make our guests satisfied and happy. When they leave our hotel with a smile on their face, we know we have succeeded! Every day in hospitality is different – and people around me love those challenges; no two days are the same.

  • Roland Viglási
  • Operations Manager
  • ibis Budapest City (Hungary)