A Day in the Life… Patricia Cavanagh, manager, Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel, Enniskillen
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE AND WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
My current job is Accounts Manager at the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel in Enniskillen. I started there in June 1980 and my job involves looking after the accounts for the whole hotel.
My role also means that I have the pleasure of negotiating with suppliers to ensure we get the best deals at all times. Areas I cover include waste control and energy efficiency and work on these has produced excellent results. I also deal with Management accounts, Paye, bank payments, VAT inspectors, payroll, annual audit and general office duties.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN HOSPITALITY/TOURISM?
Prior to working at the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel, I gained great experience in the hospitality industry at hotels such as the Drumsill House in Armagh. In the years before that I also worked at the Londonderry Arms Hotel, in the Northern Counties, in Portrush and Carnlough, at the Friendship Hotel and in Douglas on the Isle of Man.
I count myself lucky that during my time at the Killyhevlin Hotel I had the opportunity to work alongside Mrs Pearl Watson and Mr Rodney Watson, I learned so much from them – they taught me that I should work as if I owned the hotel and that the customer is always right which is very important when working within the hospitality service.
WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?
The best part about working at the Killyhevlin is that there are lots of staff who, like myself, have worked here for many years. This means there is a very strong camaraderie between colleagues and a true sense of cooperation.
Keeping up with advancing technology has proven very interesting and sometimes challenging over the years. As the business has grown I have had the opportunity to explore and learn about new technology and keep the hotel up to date with our competitors.
I actually remember many years ago a customer coming to reception one day and asking if we had a fax machine, I didn’t know what he was talking about and now they have come and gone and been replaced by the internet! We are currently working on new technology for different areas of the hotel which is very exciting as it keeps us up to date with what’s on offer.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY/TOURISM SECTOR?
At the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel we always like to ensure that we are keeping up with modern trends and over the last two years most of the hotel has been refurbished. It’s great to be a part of the planning and execution of all the work but at times it can be stressful as everyone hopes that all the work turns out as expected and on time! Luckily, everything has turned out wonderfully so far and all our customers have been delighted with the changes that we have made.
OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY
I don’t normally have a typical working day but a lot of the work is scheduled to dates and times and therefore this cannot be ignored. Banking is done on a daily basis and this has to be checked. Meetings have to be attended to and these often take me out of the hotel. I also deal with staff queries, various telephone calls and most importantly balancing the accounts.
PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE
One of them was when the hotel was part of the G8 Summit in 2013.
BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED IN THE LOCAL HOSPITALITY/TOURISM SECTOR
Working in this industry means that we have to keep up with the constant changes that are going on and ensure that we are consistently offering our customers the best possible service, which is something that we really pride ourselves on. We are currently working on a really exciting project which will see 14 brand new lodges built by March of this year. These lodges offer contemporary accommodation for couples, families and groups and all have stunning lakeside views.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?
Gardening is a much-loved past-time along with cycling and swimming. There’s never a dull moment!
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW
I have always had a great love for horses and in 2016 I started riding again and bought a horse for myself. I really enjoy taking my horse out and in 2017 hope to do more jumping and dressage.
I have four horses which take part in show jumping and my aim is to qualify for the Dublin Horse Show each year. I have a professional rider and together we have had great success over the years.
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