On most weekends you can find Andrea Toth immersed in her job as marketing, sales and banqueting manager at the Savoy Mansion Hotel, a riverside Baroque chateau in the Danube Valley about 45 km south of Budapest completed in 1722. Weekends often mean weddings at the hotel. Since she is the banqueting manager, she must also be a wedding organizer. That means not just being present and coordinating the event, but also preparing cost estimates, writing contracts, and — last but certainly not least — assembling and presenting the final invoice.
“I tend to spend a little more time in the hotel than I should, ” said Toth, “but the middle of the week is more quiet and gives me a chance to do the rest of my work.
The “rest of her work” includes working with groups that want to use the Savoy’s indoor and outdoor facilities for training sessions, conferences, team building exercises and banquets and working with individuals who want a program of activities. She also develops the hotel’s promotional materials. The hotel is “pretty and romantic,” she said, with employees who are like family.
One recent project she has enjoyed was reworking the hotel’s website in Hungarian, English and German, as well as the hotel’s brochure. Her work can be seen by clicking on http://www.savoyai.hu
“I like my job because of its variety, and it gives me the chance to be creative every time and to realize my ideas,” said the 27-year old Toth.
“Since I was brought up in this area, I know the tourist attractions and suppliers, the museums, tourist office employees, thermal baths, the riding school, the wine cellars. I know them very well so it makes it easier for me to work with them to make our guests satisfied,” said Toth.
Toth’s road to the Savoy started with the Travel & Tourism Program she took during the last two years of high school. She was attracted to the course by the way it was taught and by its practical content.
“The thing I liked best about the course is that we could work both as individuals and also in small groups, whether we were working in the classroom or doing projects outside ‘in the field,’” said Toth.
She also liked the topics the students discussed in class including people’s travel habits, what travelers seem to want, how people chose destinations, and concepts like supply and demand.
The Travel & Tourism course had a “good atmosphere,” said Toth, who also started studying English and German while emphasizing her tourism studies.
About half way through the program she decided she wanted to pursue a career in Travel & Tourism. How she prepared herself for her career is instructive. After high school she took a 4-year college degree course in the town of Szolnok, studying economics and business administration, with a concentration in Travel & Tourism and Hotel Management. As part of her studies she gained work experience working at a four-star hotel in Sopron, learning about its restaurant, housekeeping, wellness center, front desk and sales operations. A second work-study assignment took her to a firm that specialized in event management, an experience that helped her when she wrote her graduation thesis. She stayed with the firm after graduation. After spending a year in Germany, which is a big market for Hungarian tourism, improving her German language skills she returned home and went to work at the Savoyai in 2003. She started out working at the reception desk and in the banqueting department, then was promoted to be an assistant manager, and then restaurant manager, before moving up to her current assignment.
Toth likes where she is and what she is doing. Whatever the future brings, she is clearly well prepared.