Secret to Success
A man can never wind up at the top if he has no passion. Without the drive, he can never be motivated to move forward. That certainly is not the case with Jack Tuason, as hospitality has always been his passion. Jeff Ponge sat down with Mr. Tuason to talk about his career, the industry, and advice to students.
Jack Tuason earned his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He waited tables, among other difficult part-time jobs. This not only earned him work experience, but also geared him up for actual hard work.
Luckily, he was already in Las Vegas where the hospitality industry was immense. He took his 800-hour internship at the Mirage Hotel, and the Golden Nugget, both owned by the American business magnate Steve Wynn. After completing his education, he worked with the prestigious Hyatt group; first with the Hyatt Regency Monterey, and then with the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. After quite some time, he went to the Philippines and worked with Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts. From then on, he subsequently established Discovery Suites, and is now part of Enderun’s Board of Trustees as the lead founder.
With regards to internship, he says students must think about where they want to be in the long run, in the sense that there has to be a clear map towards their ultimate goal. He adds that it would also help to immerse oneself in the local industry first, before going international. This would help students recognize the difference between the two settings, and teach them how to adapt.
“Different personalities match a specific corporation. If one is situated where he fits well, he naturally works better in that environment.” This is what Mr. Tuason experienced while working in Hyatt where the managers were allowed to venture on their own.
The students must be prepared to work hard in whichever company they work for. He believes that the internship should not be taken merely for the sake of it, but viewed as an opportunity to learn the tools of the trade, to acquire skills and to build one’s network.
He says that students must always be open to learn and that they should keep in mind, that to be able to do so requires hard work that entails the right performance. One should always strive to find a way to be recognized and have as much face-to-face time with the higher-ups, as they are the right network to establish in the hotel industry. Continuing relationships with them is crucial for one’s future career.
Another word of advice from Mr. Tuason is that one must not join a company or workplace, assuming that he knows everything. “Learn to exercise humility,” he stresses,
“interns are usually placed at the bottom of the pyramid so they are tasked to do the basics. It is seldom that the students do big mistakes. But in such cases, they must always be open, honest and have a good attitude. From there, they can be mentored in kind.”
With this mindset, Enderun students will truly flourish in the companies they will choose for their internship. In fact, as proof of the earlier interns’ successes, Mr. Tuason said more companies seek out Enderun students now because they perform significantly better than others.
The higher batches have surely set a benchmark. He added that students, in order for them to have the chance to intern where they really want, must be proactive in selecting the company they want to work for, and getting themselves accepted. He suggests that they coordinate with Ms. Ana Tuason-Galang in the Career Services Office to further understand choosing their desired company. Finding new companies to intern in will not only pave the way for the younger batches to get more internship opportunities, but it will also create and strengthen a partnership between the school and the company.