Noemi Maddalena's Story
I joined hospitality when I was 23, that was my first job when I came to the UK and it happened by chance because I was travelling and looking for a job to sustain my travels. Then in 2017, I joined Accor and there I found my passion for hospitality. I started as an assistant receptionist and in less than six months I was team leader, then reservation and conference manager, and then front office and reservation manager. I achieved so much in such a short time, just five years – I realise how much when I start talking about it!
Now I am reservation and front office manager for Novotel and the Ibis next door. It is challenging to run two hotels that are not at the same level, 4-star and budget, but once you know the product, you have the tools and the experience and you learn from your mistakes. It is a flexible arrangement and very dynamic: if you don’t have room in one hotel, you can offer it in the other, they complement each other. Once you get used to it, it’s not difficult.
What next? If you’d asked me that question a couple of years ago, pre-pandemic, I would have said general manager, but now I’m not sure. I think my career will remain in hospitality but I’m trying to find my path again; I found all the lockdowns very stressful. The reason I don’t want to be a general manager anymore is because my career path will probably be to head office, either here in the UK or in Paris; I’m flexible. I would like to travel again though not as much as when I was 20 – I always keep the door open; if there is an opportunity, why not!
I am a graduate from Leader of Tomorrow, which is an internal management training course for those who want to progress in their career, it gives you the tools to become a manager.
Always be curious, that was the key to my career. I wanted to know more and more about every department and that gave me the chance to progress because you have the bigger picture in your mind. Challenge yourself every day and be brave because the opportunities are there if you are in the right time and right place. If you have flexibility and you are dynamic, hospitality can give you lots.
And to those looking for a first job, consider hospitality because you cannot get bored in this sector, every day is different. You are working in a friendly atmosphere, you will find friends among colleagues – you will be working in a team and will feel supported. Work is really important and when you make friends as well, it is a win win!
- Noemi Maddalena
- Multi Hotel Reservation and Front Office Manager
- Novotel Glasgow/Ibis Glasgow City Centre (United Kingdom)