Elena Caraus's Story
When I was around 12 years old the teacher in school asked us to write down what profession will we are thinking to choose in the future..
I had no idea at the time, but while thinking what to write I remembered seeing a British movie with a nice hotel with a very strong and confident female general manager and I thought to myself – that could be nice. Knowing nothing about hotels I wrote on my note ‘‘General Manager of a Hotel in London’’. That is when the seed was planted.
The time has passed, I started to study Economics Tourism and Hospitality, and finally in July 2016 I began my journey as a Front Office Team Member in ibis London City Shoreditch. I was enabled to grow and develop my capabilities and skills which ultimately led me to becoming a Front Office Team Leader in July 2017, Front Office Manager in July 2018 and Assistant General Manager in June 2021.
I was lucky to join such a big company like Accor, with a great culture, lots of career opportunities and strong, visionary leaders behind me. I want to specifically mention Melanie Harvey, my current GM, she has played a huge role in shaping me as a leader and unlocking my potential.
The way I joined the company is an interesting one. Shortly after I moved to London, while waiting at a bus stop, I raised my eyes and saw the ibis City logo. I walked into the reception and asked whether they had any vacancies for a receptionist. The next day I took in my CV, they called me for an interview and I was offered the job. Every time I see that bus stop, I remember that moment.
If a were to give an advice to anyone new in the industry, I would say put your heart into it, do it with passion and don’t limit yourself. Learn as much as possible and it will benefit you in the long run.
And to anyone looking for a job, the beauty of hospitality – and especially working in a big company like Accor – is that there are numerous career paths. So, if your goal is not to become a GM one day but you want to work in marketing, by starting as a breakfast host or receptionist today, you will open doors towards your final goal because you can change course along the way. Accor provides high levels of training and programmes. For instance, I was on the Leaders and Tomorrow programme; it lasted a year and during that time I travelled throughout the country learning subjects such as management, law, HR and finance. It was an interesting experience that added value to my educational and professional capability.
I feel recognised and appreciated for the work I put in, and Accor’s culture generally has made my passion for the hotel industry grow even stronger.
- Elena Caraus
- Assistant General Manager
- ibis London City Shoreditch (UK)