James Spinkston, who graduated from Bachelor of Business (International Hotel Management), is Front Office Supervisor at the high-end Four Seasons ski resort in Whistler, Canada. He is exceptionally happy with his offshore move.
Adelaide born and educated, James Spinkston says he has been very fortunate in a number of areas.
Among them: travelling a lot when he was young, his scholarship to Le Cordon Bleu Adelaide (2012–15) and more recently his supervisory role at Four Seasons Resorts and Residences, Whistler.
For the past six months the 23 year old has been designated trainer for the Front Office team, which comprises staff from the Ukraine, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Australia.
When I first arrived I was mentored by two fantastic managers and I now get to take on that role.
He landed the job from his second industry placement while at Le Cordon Bleu, which was at the property. His first was at The Westin Melbourne.
‘Le Cordon Bleu opened the world to me and from my second placement I got an idea of where this could take me’, he says.
In Adelaide recently for a friend’s wedding and to catch up with family and friends, James says he has a lot to look forward to.
He wants to stay with the Four Seasons brand as it is growing and expanding all over the world; however, he is thinking the next step may be the United Kingdom or Dubai. The decision will be made along with his girlfriend, a New Yorker, who is the Public Relations Manager at Four Seasons Whistler.
Different to any other Four Seasons property, Whistler’s 273 rooms and 37 residences are privately owned under a management arrangement.
James says the Four Seasons service standards are exceptionally high, and as his mantra, he has adopted a phrase of founder and past chairman Isadore (Issy) Sharpe: ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’.
At Le Cordon Bleu he teamed up with another Australian scholarship winner, close friend Chloe Rickaby who is Restaurant Manager at Mt Lofty House Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills.
The pair extended their third-year studies over a year, while working together at the Accor’s M Gallery Collection hotel, The Playford.
After finishing school at Concordia College in 2011, James travelled to Europe for six weeks returning to work part time at the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury.
When thinking about career options, he explored a variety of areas, a number hospitality-related as his passion for travel and different cultures played a significant role in his decisions. The opportunity to receive a scholarship to an education institute with a reputation for excellence in Hospitality such as Le Cordon Bleu, really helped direct him down such a path.
Le Cordon Bleu has opened my eyes to where this industry can take you, both as a career and as a person and has allowed me to expand both my professional and social networks with a variety people from all around the world.
To have the opportunity to work for such a brand as Four Seasons that is always developing new ways to remain at the pinnacle of luxury hotels is truly an honour and I can only thank the people at Le Cordon Bleu for making this possible.
He and Chloe are strong advocates for Le Cordon Bleu and regularly get messages from people around the world considering their futures. James says it gives him a great sense of pride in what he has achieved.
His advice: ‘Don’t limit your expectations, be prepared to take risks and experience other parts of the world’.