Lauren Porter's Story
I got into hospitality as I studied leisure and tourism at school. I then took my A levels in travel and tourism at college, as I enjoyed the travel and tourism side to the course. While I was studying at college, I took a student job at Travelodge and loved it. Meeting and greeting guests, chatting about their plans and generally about their day. I decided this was a career path I wanted to continue with, as I am a bubbly, chatty character and love meeting people from all walks of life.
After gaining experience in the hotel for a few years, I decided I wanted to move to a hotel chain that had more to offer, and to be part of a new team. I was successful in getting a job at Novotel as a receptionist in a different city, it was lovely to be part of a team that had such a family feel, which helped me to progress to a team leader within the year.
My current job role is Groups and Sales Co-Ordinator at Novotel York and I love it. I started out as a receptionist, then progressed to a team leader then assistant front office manager.
After many years in hotels, I left for a short while but found I missed the buzz working with a team within the hotels and the guest interaction. I decided to come back into an office role as a conference and events co-ordinator, which gave me the skills to organise large or small conferences / events and making each conference or event as fantastic as it could be, to gain repeat bookings. This led into the job role I am in today, back in the hotel where I gained the most valuable experience, which helped me grow into the person I am today.
During the Corona virus pandemic my job role has been a little more diverse, with lockdowns and international travel bans, so I have found myself helping in other departments. This has been one focus where all departments across the hotel have pulled together to be one team to make everyone’s stay as comfortable and special as possible in these strange times.
The best thing about hospitality has to be the people. Whether this is the people you work with, or the guests arriving for the first time or returning back to the hotel. The fulfilment of making a guests stay happy and enjoyable, so they just can’t wait to let the team know. We spend a lot of time at work and its important to be happy and contented in what we do. The bond between staff members is a very close one and I am sure other team members feel the same, I have made some close friends for life.
When you speak to anyone is hospitality, they all have a different story to tell, they all put their heart and soul into the role to make it a success for staff and guests. Sometimes the job can be more challenging, but the rewards make up for it and if you stick with it, anything is possible.
I have gained life skills within each of the different job roles I have been in, and to go back to the same hotel twice just says it all. Also, within the hospitality industry career progression is endless, you can move up the ladder at your own pace, the more work you put in the more you progress.
If you enjoy working within a team and meeting new people, facing new challenges, where every day is different, then hospitality is for you. Accor has a big heart and is a great to work for.
- Lauren Porter
- Groups and Sales Co-Ordinator
- Novotel York (UK)