Nadezhda Vasichkin's Story
I was a very sociable child and I liked a party, so I started to work in hospitality because it felt as though everyone was on holiday. My parents owned a nightclub and restaurant in Moscow, Russia, and when I was 14, I asked if I could work as a waitress there, to see how it all happens; that also brought my first earnings. I was a waitress until I was 17 and then I went to university in the Netherlands, where I studied hotel management.
I have worked in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Istanbul and Moscow. It is definitely useful to have international experience, learning about different cultures, and I think I picked up a lot about people and character. This gave me great management skills because when I join a new team, I have to adapt to people from all over the world, and it’s not that easy. Knowing how to approach people and learning how to communicate are two of the advantages of the hospitality industry, and they are very important.
I left hotels to set up a luxury travel agency, but it was not a break from hospitality, it is part of the industry. I was mostly working with similar clients, doing meetings, incentives and conferences abroad, and also with B2C luxury clients. It was great because it allowed me to see the industry from a different perspective, and working with B2B clients is good experience for working in hotel sales.
I co-owned the company. I was 20 years old at the time, and I gained a lot of knowledge from that year. It was a great thing to do but unfortunately, in 2012 there was a huge leisure market crisis in Russia and people didn’t have the money to travel. At the time, a lot of huge companies went bankrupt and ours as well.
Once you have decided to work in the hospitality industry, don’t make money a priority because you might not earn much at first – but there are huge opportunities for quick development. Once you are there, make sure you work from your heart and that you love people, love to communicate and to solve problems; and don’t be afraid of taking responsibility – this is the key. After several years you will realise you are earning well.
Entering hospitality feels like a party every day, meeting lots of people and communicating with colleagues, partners, clients from all over the world. If you don’t love people, don’t join the industry; and you need strong communicate skills. If you do join, you will never leave. In Russia we say, if you love your job, you will not work a day in your life.
- Nadezhda Vasichkina
- Senior Director Business Development, Operations
- Moscow Support Office (Russia)