Julia Pfleiderer's story
I started to work at Accor as an apprentice 11 years ago and worked in different positions – Receptionist, Reservations Agent – until my current role as a Deputy General Manager.
Hospitality is so diverse and gives everyone the opportunity to start a career, learn new skills, and grow. It is also very fast paced, so a lot of opportunities can open up very quickly and it is important people are aware of them and go for it!
It is all about being adaptable and open minded; we have to keep up with trends such as digitalization, new food preferences, and eco-friendly practices are also a very big topic.
For me, the most challenging times were during lockdowns and the pandemic. It was difficult to find a balance between meeting guests’ expectations and meeting the Covid regulations, which kept changing. We needed to follow the rules and keep guests and staff safe, but at the same time, we wanted to provide a good service.
I am currently enrolled in Bloom, a programme run by Accor aimed at future general managers. Bloom is an amazing 12-month leadership programme and I have greatly broadened and deepened my knowledge. It challenges us, Bloomers, in many ways such as coaching sessions online and cross exposure, where we go to work in another hotel and get experience and knowledge in departments we are not familiar with.
We also have three one-to-one meetings with workshops, a mentoring program, and a big final project, which we work on until the end of the programme in June. For me, the biggest part is the networking; there are 49 Bloomers from 13 nations and interacting with colleagues in the same position is very enriching.
Always be open and be proactive, and you will find a lot of opportunities, and be adaptable because the industry is constantly changing. It will be easy to find your path because there is a wide range of roles to choose from – front office, F&B, sales, marketing, events; with so many options, everyone can find a career that fits their interests and strengths.
Hospitality can be an excellent choice for anyone in their first job because it provides a lot of skills and experiences, and these can be a basis for a career in any industry. It is also perfect for someone who enjoys interacting with people from all over the world and likes to have a lot of action on a daily basis because no day is like the other, it never gets boring! Hospitality is super-fast-paced and demanding but also incredibly rewarding.
- Julia Pfleiderer
- Deputy General Manager
- Novotel, ibis & ibis budget Zürich City West (Switzerland)