Our G.Os are ambassadors of the Club Med spirit - they contribute to the premium service and lively atmosphere in our 70+ resorts and make the Club Med experience truly unique.
Last October, Michael Clarke, Australian G.O born in New-Zealand, became our first Aussie Chief of Village at the beautiful Club Med Cherating Beach, Malaysia. After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of International Hotel & Tourism Management, Mike joined the Club Med family in 2004. We asked him some questions about his Club Med experience.
What is your history at Club Med?
I started in golf and moved to Sports Manager, Entertainment Manager and Leisure Manager. I was Chief of Village at Lindeman, Bintan Island, Turks and Caicos, Sahoro and now Cherating. I also did 18 months in the Miami Corporate office as a Human Resource Business Partner.
How do you think Club Med is different from other resorts or hotels you may have worked for?
The staff make it different. The vibe, the ambiance, the interaction between staff and guests in a friendly, international environment.
How and why did you become a Chief of Village at Club Med?
I like to think through hard work and results, I wanted to lead and inspire a team. Happiness is my business!
How and why did you choose Club Med Cherating?
I wanted to return to Asia, this place is a green paradise, combines the jungle with the beach, the location is stunning!
What are you in charge of in an average day?
Management: Team briefing to begin the day, my goal is to unify the team to work on one goal – delivering an exceptional vacation to our GMs, happiness is our business, I believe in something called MBWA – Management By Walking Around –I am hands on, on the field and have a passion for what I do.
What are the most important qualities you look for in your Club Med Cherating Team?
To work as 1 team, to engage our GMs, to work in a friendly professional manner and to have fun!
What are your tricks to keep your team engaged?
You need to reward when need and also to simply say thank you to your team. I also like to be involved in the life of the resort.
A Club Med Chief of Village is much more than just sitting behind a desk... Tell us how you interact with guests?
I love mixing with other cultures, I have learnt some small phrases in various languages and get great joy out seeing the guests react when you can bust out some phrases in their language. I can guarantee the atmosphere will be very energetic this season.
Any favourite memory of being at the resort so far?
Becoming Chief of Village, it was a dream of mine. To be able to reach it was my career highlight.
How did your team welcome you to the Resort? Any funny ‘initiation traditions’?
Haha…. Not that I can share ;) kidding, I was greeted with a cold beer and a pretty awesome traditional dragon dance. The best welcome was the smiling faces of the team.
What are some challenges of being a Club Med Chief of Village?
We work quite long days and 6 days a week. Working for Club Med is a lifestyle. I like the saying “find the job you love and you will never have to work a day in our life” – I can tell you I love what I do. Also, this property is an older resort, we may not have the newest room or facilities but we do have the best atmosphere and location.
What is your favourite thing about Cherating? Why do you think Australians should visit?
The amount of activities here is awesome for active Aussies. From tennis lessons, trapeze, archery, rock climbing, treetop courses, sailing, kayaking, to relaxing at either of our 2 pools (family and adult-only Zen pool) you will always have something to do. We also have one of the best spas in Club Med so after an active day you can relax with a traditional massage.
What is your personal motto?
"Work hard, play hard, party hard!"
Would you encourage other Australians to work at Club Med?
Yes for sure, it is an excellent training school, you will discover new cultures, meet new people, understand customer service – all while working in some amazing locations all over the world – what are you waiting for!
Anything else to share?
The only thing missing is YOU!
Want to join Mike for unforgettable holidays at Club Med Cherating? Stop thinking, start booking!