She knows what she wants

I recently asked my assistant Annalisa how she will reach the top in her career path and how we can guide and put a development plan in place for her.

Her chosen field is going to be sales and marketing. At her review I asked her to put into writing why she chose hotels as a career. I wanted this blog post to be about her, to share with all those who have recently entered the world of hospitality or who are thinking about a career in hospitality.

Here is her reply:

When I first walked through the doors of Dukes London, I straightaway felt this was my place. It’s like when you meet someone and you feel the connection, you don’t know if it’s going to work or not, if it’s going to be a great love or a disappointment, but you feel under your skin a great connection.

This is my first experience in hospitality. I came to London two years ago from Italy to do a master’s degree in marketing and communications, and after completing my studies I started my search for THE job to finally put into practice what I learned in so many years of studying. After a brief traineeship in a PR agency, I received the call from Dukes.

Breaking into hospitality has always been my desire since I was little. When I used to travel with my parents I was always staring at the people in reception; I thought they were so elegant in their uniforms, giving the key to the guests, and I just wanted to do the same! So when I finished my studies, I was more motivated than ever to enter the world of hospitality. Hospitality is, more than any other, a people-oriented profession, and that is what I love the most about it. If you work hard, it gives you the chance to build a fantastic career.

Being part of the team at Dukes, I have achieved my first goal. They opened the door and gave me an opportunity; so many hotels did not even reply to me. A big part of my job involves liaising with our PR agencies in London and NYC to arrange press visits here in the hotel, photo shoots and site tours, as well as being the liaison with the press. Another part of the job involves looking after the social media.

When I was at university, I had the chance to get an understanding of what doing PR involves, and I’ve always thought that this was the career path I wanted to pursue. I enjoy what I do and I do think it’s a very interesting profession, but it’s when you actually put your hands in the job that you really understand if that is what you want to do and if that job is meant for you. I think that choosing a profession is like choosing the right dress — it has to fits you perfectly, otherwise you will always feel uncomfortable in those clothes. Over the last three months Debrah has involved me more in sales, and I enjoy the contact with people, I enjoy talking to people and I feel that I could deliver more to other sides of the business. For this reason, I discussed this with Debrah, sharing with her my desire to get into the sales department, and I was extremely glad to find in her a great support in my decision. It’s so important to have someone that is really keen to address you in the right direction, giving you advice and supporting your development. Natalie, our human resources manager, also discussed it with me, and they have arranged a development plan for me. I am so excited.

I was given an opportunity to try it, and hospitality is a dress that fits me perfectly. I am looking forward to my next challenge and to build a successful and rewarding career within the industry!

What a great reply. I also have a lady working at Dukes in reception who is on the journey to become a shift leader; our HR manager spotted her in Starbucks.

Lots of talent out there — you just have to give them a chance!