Helena Klusin's Story
My first job was in a private hotel, just one property and there are only the people within it. At Accor there are people in the headquarters who are there to help you and who work with you, but you don’t see them every day. There are many departments and this means there are more opportunities: I have worked at Mercure, ibis, ibis budget, and at headquarters, I’ve tried everything.
You go into work and don’t know what is going to happen, every day is different and I love that – you cannot get bored.
My responsibilities have ranged from the internet to general manager; I didn’t plan to be a GM. 9 years ago I was working at HQ in Munich and my team leader said to me, ‘In a few years, we will see you as a general manager in Accor, and I said, ‘You are crazy, never!’.
Being a general manager is an administrative position but I also work at front office, breakfast, maintenance; there are many departments and I need all those areas of expertise. All the staff always have contact with the guests and that is why I am here.
It is not necessarily typical of the hospitality sector that I made such impressive progress but if you have the willpower you can do it – and if you have a team leader who believes in you. If you say you want to be a general manager, you need support and determination.
Anyone who works in hospitality has to love it and if not, you are in the wrong place. As a Heartist, you have to do it with the heart not the head; it can be a hard job but you can have so much fun.
To someone coming into hospitality, know what you want to do, whether that is administration or front office; try different departments and ask yourself, is it the right thing for me? You have to know what you want to do and you have to know which of your assets you want to use in the job – don’t do the job for the money. I got this job because I love my job and hospitality, not because I get paid every month.
If you want to work with guests, then a hotel is the best way; in accounts you are only working with numbers, not people. For me it is important to see people. My next stop is to change hotel and maybe go back to an ibis or Mercure, but I will stay in Germany.
- Helena Klusin
- General Manager
- ibis budget Stuttgart City Nord (Germany)