Be our Guest: Alumnus Romano Campione Takes Hospitality to New Heights
Alumnus Romano Campione, class of 1993, is a Business Administration major of British and Italian origin. He is an active member of the JCU alumni network and has helped organize alumni events in London where he currently resides. Romano started his career with the help of Career Services and he is now the Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing at Starhotels.
How did you find your first job after graduating from JCU?
After graduating, I came to the Guarini Campus and saw an advertisement on one of the Career Services boards. The ad was for an entry-level position in Sales and Marketing at Hilton International. That was the start of my career in the hospitality industry. I did not have much hope that I was going to get the job straight away, but nonetheless, I went through all the interview steps. That unexpected opportunity led me to the hospitality industry where I still work today. Everything began with JCU. My alma mater played a major role in my career path.
How did John Cabot University prepare you for your career?
JCU provided me with a general knowledge of business and marketing that turned out to be very adaptable to the day-to-day managing requirements of most business enterprises. JCU also exposed me to a mix of students and professors from different backgrounds and nationalities, and that made the whole experience fun and fulfilling.
Are you in touch with the JCU alumni network?
I have always been in contact with a couple of alumni. Only recently, however, have I become more involved with the JCU alumni network, and in particular with the London community. We have organized a great get-together at The Franklin, one of the three Starhotels in London, and we are planning other events in the future.
What motivated you to pursue a career in hospitality marketing?
I immediately loved the people-intensive side of the business and the fact that every day is different. A hotel, much like a restaurant, is also a “stage” where a great show goes on every day and there is an element of fun and creativity that connects you with human beings from every walk of life.
Which personal and professional qualities are necessary to be successful in hospitality marketing?
You need to be a people person who is passionate about hospitality, food, and social interaction. This industry is not for those who seek a routine job where the same tasks are repeated every day. You have to love the 24-hour Business and Leisure mode that operates in hotels. If you want to prosper in your career, you have to be a good communicator and a team player, and you should also have a good eye for details and numbers.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
The Hotel business is a very intense work environment with several operation departments working at high tempo every day. Often problems experienced in one area have a domino effect on others, hence creating very demanding scenarios for the managers.
What is your advice to current JCU students?
Make the most of your time on campus. Aside from following the curriculum, try to connect personally with as many students and professors as you can. JCU gives you access to a universe of knowledge, backgrounds, and experiences, and that is what makes this institution unique.
In my opinion, the best way to prepare for a career in Sales and Marketing is to pursue a Bachelor in Business Administration or Marketing and a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management from one of the leading Institutions in Europe or the US. This industry is not for everybody. I strongly advise students to seek internships as early as possible. Internships can help you understand the real day-to-day dynamics of this specific work environment so that you can decide whether or not it is suitable for you. Usually, people who work in the industry immediately realize they have the “industry bug,” a never-ending passion for hospitality that once developed never leaves you!