Hi Anna, tell us, how did your career begin in hospitality?
I started out in hospitality fresh out of school, clueless as to what I wanted to do after my A-Levels. So, as you do, I went up to my local pub and asked for a job. Going from my local to a 5* hotel in Mayfair isn’t where I saw myself after school, but now I can’t see myself doing anything else.
What is your favourite thing about your role?
My favourite thing about my role as intern is my flexibility. The Athenaeum has offered me the unique opportunity to work through several departments, which has allowed me to see how the hotel works and coordinates as a whole. It’s also allowed me to get to know the majority of our team, who are all amazing.
What attracted you to working at The Athenaeum?
As an intern living in London, it isn’t the kindest on your bank account, particularly with a cost of living crisis. The Athenaeum pay all of their staff London living wage and higher, which was a huge selling point for me. I also love their approach to sustainability and their environmental initiative.
What does a typical day look like for you at work?
It’s constantly changing. As I’m writing this, I’m in the HR office but the week after I’ll be with our Sales & Marketing team, and the week after I’ll be back in the Front of House team.
What’s been the biggest learning moment for you in your career so far?
Learning that I belong in hospitality! It wasn’t a linear progression – it took the right working environment and team to bring out my full potential, but realising hospitality is the career path for me helped me learn a lot about myself and purpose.
What’s a goal that you’re working towards right now?
My degree! I’m at the Ath for a year-long placement, which is a part of my degree in International Hospitality and Tourism Management. My year here will benefit my studies once I return later this year, and once I graduate, I’ll hopefully be able to enter into a management position soon after.
When are you happiest in your job?
When I make a guest’s stay extra unique, especially with the children. Putting the kids amenities in the room and really being able to customise a guest’s stay with these simple touches, really makes me happy.
What three qualities do you think are important for someone working at The Athenaeum?
It sounds silly and obvious, but you have to care about people’s experience and really want to make it memorable. Having that care and compassion is a huge must for working at the Athenaeum, particularly as we are such a small team so each and every person counts. I think it’s also important to be approachable, so guests feel at complete ease in coming to you for help. And thirdly, I think it’s essential to be resilient. It can be a challenging environment and wear you down, so being able to wear a smile and continue to deliver excellent service even when you’re not feeling your best is a great quality to have.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’ll graduate in 2025, and then the next few years after that I plan on using the ‘international’ bit of my degree and going to see the world! My goal would be to get some form of management position out at a hotel or resort in Greece (one day perhaps even have my own, but probably not in the next 5 years!). But I highly doubt this’ll be the last time I’m at the Ath after this year.
Describe your job in three words.
Educational, fun, meaningful.