Are you considering starting a career in hospitality?
This week, our director of sales, Helen, discusses her experiences of working in a hotel. Here, she shares her advice for those interested in the hospitality industry:
Working in a Hotel: How Helen Got Started
Helen has recently joined our Rutland team – the latest step in her long and fulfilling career in hospitality. Having started her career 19 years ago when she was just 16 years old, Helen has a wealth of experience to bring to our hotel.
When asked about what inspired Helen to join the industry, she said, “Money! At 16 years old, I wanted to earn money to buy a car. As an industry, it will take you on at 16.”
Helen then went on to say, “I love it. From behind-the-scenes, I like working with all different people, from all different walks of life. I love everyone coming together to create a team that delivers an experience.
“I like watching the journey for events, such as parties, conferences and anniversaries, come to fruition. I like seeing all stages, from the planning to the execution. I enjoy being client facing and building relationships; that’s the biggest part of my job.”
Having started off as a waitress in a garden centre café, Helen then went to university to do a degree in Business Studies. Whilst she was studying at university, she worked at a music bar and restaurant venue, and spent time on all 3 aspects to gain experience.
How Helen’s Career in Hospitality Progressed
Helen continued, “Once I finished university, I then worked at a local hotel on reception. After a few months, I got promoted to look after weddings. Once I’d done a few years of weddings, I moved to an events agency. I was there for 7 years, working on bookings, venue finding and event management, before finally moving into sales.
“When I was working for the agency, hotel groups would come and give presentations on their facilities, and I wanted to see what that was like. So, I started working at a hotel in Cambridge and was promoted twice before reaching the national sales role within the hotel group.
“It was an amazing experience and my career soared, but I decided to take a step back for a few years when I then had my children. I then worked part-time as a national sales director at a lovely local agency.
“After 4 years, I missed working in a hotel. Luckily, this opportunity came up at Rutland Hall – and here I am!”
Working in a Hotel: Helen on Her New Role Here at Rutland Hall
Helen has had a long and varied career, occupying several roles within hospitality. We were keen to understand how she feels Rutland compares to other venues. She said, “It’s great; to be able to say I’ve worked through the rebrand, refurbishment and relaunch is something I have never done before. It adds a new dimension to hotels for me!
“Every day is different and as a local resident, I am so excited to share the changes at Rutland Hall with my community.”
Our extensive refurbishment has helped us to redefine our luxury hotel status within Rutland. We’re looking forward to what the future holds for us as we continue to make fond memories with our staff and guests.
Helen shared some of her own happy memories of working in hospitality. She said, “…There are some I cannot mention! But I’ve witnessed everything from an actual cat catwalk to a lady giving birth in a restaurant! I’ve loved watching the people I’ve worked with get married, too – it’s all about the camaraderie in hospitality!”
There are many career opportunities under the umbrella of hospitality. For Helen, her new role as our director of sales offers her a busy and varied schedule. She said, “So, every day is different but I predominantly manage the accounts of our existing clients. I ensure we’re getting the business – and looking after it.
“I organise site visits to show potential clients around the hotel, or I go to their offices where I present our hotel to them. I keep track of what our competitors offer and do, to make sure we are in line.
“Finally, I help to organise marketing campaigns – from weddings to conferences to promotions – in the local area.”
Working in a Hotel: Begin Your Career in Hospitality
Hospitality is an ever-changing and busy industry, and is ideal for someone looking to change up their 9-5 routine. Helen shared her ideas of the qualities an individual should have to work in hospitality.
She said, “You need to be open-minded, have lots of energy and positivity, be adaptable to change and have the ability to think on your feet. However, there is a role for everyone in hospitality.
“I advise anyone who may be curious to give it a go. There are so many departments within hospitality; find where your passion lies and go from there. It’s easy to change roles within a hotel organisation so there’s flexibility to try new things. Find a boss that inspires you and wants to help you grow.”
If you’d like more information about our hotel, or to enquire about current vacancies, please contact our HR team.
Alternatively, why not read our previous blog to find out about the history of our local area?