From bar staff to venue manager: Mitchell Santi is ready for the next step in his career
Mitchell Santi left school at 15, finding himself with just a couple of weeks to decide what his next steps were and to find a job.
Determined to set himself up for a successful future, Mitchell decided to study for both a Certificate III and IV in Hospitality, while working in a function centre for a year where he could put his newfound skills into practice.
Later, when he turned 18, Mitchell took a job working on the floor at W. Short Hospitality venue, The Australian Hotel in The Rocks.
Early into his employment, management recognised Mitchell’s drive and potential and offered him the opportunity to undertake the leadership training program W. Short Hospitality run with Allara Learning.
W. Short Hospitality are passionate about providing their employees with ongoing training and development opportunities, to allow them to enhance their leadership and management skills and progress into more senior roles within the organisation.
Accordingly, the group collaborated with Allara Learning to develop a customised leadership program to equip staff members with the skills required to effectively manage, guide and support a team.
“At W. Short Hospitality, we are committed to investing in our internal talent,” says Shaun Chapman, Group People & Culture Manager.
“That’s why we have been partnering with Allara Learning for almost 3 years to design and develop courses that are based around our business model and are targeted at all different skill sets,” he explains. “This leadership course, in particular, is designed to provide the necessary skills and insight to our more junior staff that want to become a manager within our business.”
The program was aligned with a BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management to provide participants with a nationally recognised qualification on successful completion.
Shaun Chapman, Group People & Culture Manager, W. Short Hospitality
“Almost every employee we have trained through this course has in some way progressed further within their hospitality career in our group. This is a massive driving force for us to continue partnering with Allara Learning to build on these programs and continue to upskill our employees and pave the way for future leaders within our group.”
Ready to take the next step in his career, Mitchell jumped at the opportunity. “I put my hand up immediately and said “absolutely”. I wanted to show my bosses, the General Managers I work under and head office that I’m keen and I really want to do this,” he says.
While Mitchell was confident in his hospitality skillset, he recognised the need to develop his leadership skills in order to take on more senior management positions.
He explains how the course helped him feel prepared for the challenge of leading a team, especially in an industry where younger staff members are at times responsible for managing staff members older than themselves.
“The training was really good for me, because I was able to learn how to effectively manage a team when I was a new, young manager,” Mitchell explains.
“Being young in this industry, when you’re managing people that are older than you it can be hard to [feel like] you have authority. Part of the course was learning how to overcome that, and I’ve learnt how to do that well now,” he adds.
Mitchell Santi, Student
“I grew a lot through doing a course like this. I gained a whole set of skills I didn’t have before which directly affect my day-to-day life in the workplace. [After the training] I came back and I was better at my job for it.”
Mitchell mentions how his trainer, Grade Wicker, helped him feel capable to deal with difficult situations at work: “Grade’s seen and done it all in hospitality. He would put a situation in front of us that none of us had dealt with before and would teach us how to troubleshoot it…so that if you get into one of those situations one day, you’re prepared to deal with it.”
Mitchell was also grateful for the ongoing support Grade provided throughout his training. “One thing you can tell with Grade is that he really cared…I’ve seen him come in here [outside of training hours] to help with things I, or the other managers, needed to finish. He always went that extra mile,” he says.
Shortly after beginning the program, Mitchell was promoted to the role of Cellar Manager at the group’s venue, The Glenmore Hotel, where he led his own team and managed the ordering, invoicing, stocktake and general cellar operations for the venue.
Mitchell notes how the skills he gained through the program helped him improve his performance at work and continue to advance his career. “I grew a lot through doing a course like this,” he says, “I gained a whole set of skills I didn’t have before which directly affect my day-to-day life in the workplace.” He adds, “[After the training] I came back and I was better at my job for it.”
Mitchell also mentions how the team management skills he gained were crucial in allowing him to form a strong, dependable team at work. “The cellar team here are all great. I can rely on them to do what needs to be done,” he comments.
After successfully completing the program, Mitchell will now be returning to the hotel where he started his journey with W. Short Hospitality, after being offered the role of a Venue Manager at The Australian Hotel.
Mitchell is proud to see his hard work pay off. “As soon as I started the course, I moved up, and now I’m moving up again. [It’s] positive reinforcement,” he says. Reflecting on his journey with W. Short Hospitality he remarks “I’m happier and I’m more confident. It shows that I’m trying to make something of myself.”
Mitchell is looking forward to his new role and is excited to continue his journey in hospitality: “My plan is just to keep going…working my way up. At 21, I’m doing very well for myself within this industry so I’m really happy with where I am, and I have no plans to leave.”
Mitchell’s dream is to one day open is his own venue. “I’d like to open a place in Port Macquarie, where I’m from. Down the track, if I have all of the skills and the resources to do it, that’s definitely something that interests me,” he says.
To others interested in pursuing hospitality, Mitchell encourages them to consider leadership training: “For anyone that wants a career in hospitality it’s great…you gain so much out of this course.”
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W. Short Hospitality is one of Sydney’s leading hospitality management groups with over 30 years’ experience owning and operating venues throughout NSW.
The family-run business manages award-winning venues in iconic locations across the state, including The Australian Hotel and The Glenmore Hotel in The Rocks, The Royal Hotel in Leichhardt, and The Tudor Hotel and Misfits Bar & Dining both located in Redfern.
With the mantra of creating the best possible experiences for customers and staff instilled throughout their venues, W.Short Hospitality is passionate about providing training and development opportunities to their team.