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Zoe Hoynes

Reservations Manager at Tylney Hall

26-year-old Zoe Hoynes joined the Elite Hotel Group in 2013, after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in hospitality business management with conferencing and events.

A Hampshire local, Zoe was looking at the jobs page of Tylney Hall Hotel’s website when she saw the Elite management trainee programme advertised – she applied, was accepted and began an 18-month journey working at three Elite hotels and learning how all aspects of the hotels are operated.
Elite’s management trainee scheme offers graduates the chance to work in all hotel departments, giving them a breadth of experience that would be much harder or would take much longer to gain elsewhere.
For Zoe, it gave her the chance to work in areas of the hotel she had never previously considered. 
“When I was doing my degree I wasn’t really sure what job I wanted to end up in. I’d spent a year working in reception at the Oxford Belfry Hotel and really enjoyed it, but working with Elite gave me a chance to experience everything. I’d never even thought about working in F&B but I found it really interesting and it was fascinating to see how it all works.”
After completing the 18-month programme, Zoe was offered a permanent role as duty manager at Ashdown Park, before moving to Tylney Hall to take up her current role as reservations manager. 
Zoe says she is in no doubt that taking part in the management trainee scheme has helped her career progression. 
“It was such a good experience and I don’t think I could have learnt so much about the hospitality industry anywhere else. It opened my eyes to the opportunities available I think my career has gone in a different direction than it would have otherwise. 
“The programme has made me better at my job too – working in reservations it’s really important to understand how other areas of the hotel work so you can give guests the right information and not put too much pressure on the other departments. I also encourage members of my team to take part in cross-departmental training, as I know from my own experience how beneficial it can be.”
The Elite Hotel Group currently takes on six new graduates to the programme every year, with regular rotations between the four hotels and different departments within the hotels. 
As one of the first intake to the scheme, Zoe has been able to help shape the programme for later trainees and give feedback on other areas of training graduates could benefit from.
Zoe is loving her front of house role as reservations manager at Tylney Hall and enjoying having the current graduate trainees working in her department.
When asked what advice she would give to graduates considering applying for the scheme, she said: “Definitely apply! A lot of hotel graduate schemes are tailored to a specific career path or department, but Elite’s scheme will give you a grounding in all aspects of hotel management and help you plan the right career path for you.”