Giacchina Buchholz's Story
To someone outside the hospitality industry it might be difficult to understand, but for me this job is my passion. Ever since I started my career, I loved it because you are always connected to people. And I do like people and I am interested in what they are doing. If you take your time and listen to people, if you talk to them, you can really change someone’s mood. I am very grateful that I have experienced different ways of working.
When I was 16, my father told me that hospitality was not for me because you have to work long hours. But with the help of Olaf Hagen at Accor, I started an apprenticeship. He persuaded my parents to let me try it and I worked for three years and attended school one day a week.
After that, I worked at an airport information desk for six months. Although I earned more money, I didn’t like the job because you don’t have real conversations with people. I like to being able to do something special for customers and make them happy. So, I quickly moved on and went to work on a cruise ship.
Working seven days a week was a real change. At the beginning it’s very hard. But I enjoyed it a lot and spent two years on cruise ships. I learnt a lot. It was a 5-stars Radisson ship, and we were sailing around South America, Alaska, New Zealand and Australia. I started as a waitress, then I worked in housekeeping and was able to have more free time. You work and earn money but at the same time you travel and see the world. The ship is like a big family – working, partying, going out. And it is very similar in a hotel.
After the cruise ship I have worked in different hotels in Germany, Switzerland and England. Thanks to working and travelling abroad I have experienced different ways of working, different cultures and attitudes. This is important because things are not always the same as in Germany. But regardless of where I was, it was always like being with family: working in hospitality is fun. And you can find hospitality anywhere in the world, you don`t have to stay in one place all your life.
But to work in hospitality you need to be a team player. I always ask new recruits what they like about hospitality and why they want the job. You have to like people, otherwise you don’t get on in this industry. The most important thing is to be open-minded.
To make a career, it depends on the individual as to whether they get recognised or not. For an introvert, it is difficult. But even then, if you are friendly and helpful, doors open for you. When you like your job and do it with passion, everything is easier and then you get recognised. Even when you are 16 or 17 and not mature yet, somebody can help you and support you and you will go your own way and won`t be shy after some time anymore.
Now I have a daughter who is nine years old and I can’t travel as much as in the past anymore. But I did a lot of travelling before having a family and for me, my family is also very important now. And who knows, maybe in 10 years’ time I can travel again.
- Giacchina Buchholz
- General Manager
- ibis Stuttgart Airport Messe (Germany)