Manager in the making – Aaron Konopi
In the first week of May 2006, Aaron Konopi walked onto the grounds of Maropeng knowing that he had come home. The interview he was there for was a simple step in his journey, and it wasn’t long before Aaron was a member of the Maropeng team.
Working at the Maropeng Hotel as a waiter is just one of Aaron’s talents. “I have worked in all departments, I am a flexible guy,” he says with a broad grin.
Aaron brims with confidence, which he attributes to the training he has received at Maropeng. “They taught me all about hospitality, how to improve myself and how to present myself,” he says. “I have received a training certificate for providing excellent service and supervision.”
This, he believes, has helped him overcome the challenges he faces in his work – particularly when he has to deal with guests who may need placating.
Aaron speaks about the day he got the job at Maropeng as a definitive moment in his life. “It has changed my life,” he says. “I used to have an attitude, but my job has taught me to improve it and work professionally; to be part of a team.”
Aaron describes himself as a sponge, waiting to soak up as much information as he can. Every opportunity that Maropeng gives him to learn, he grabs with open arms. “Maropeng invests in us; each and every day they are here for me,” he says.
A team player, Aaron relishes the opportunity his job gives him to work with others. “I enjoy working with people – you always learn something, as no-one is the same,” he says.
Inspired by the training he has received, Aaron has big plans for his future – all of them involving Maropeng. He is studying hard to improve his skills and make a better life for himself, and he’s grateful to Maropeng for being willing to invest in him.
One of those investing in Aaron is Maropeng food and beverage manager Patrick Mutavhatsindi. “Aaron has achieved a lot. He is working towards becoming a supervisor and I believe he can get there soon,” he says.
“With the motive and spirit that he has shown in his job, he will go far,” adds Patrick.
When asked if his career aspirations will keep him at Maropeng, Aaron’s loyalty shines through. “I can’t leave this place,” he explains. “In five years I am going to be a manager of a department!”