Adrian Kołba's story
When I started in hospitality, I wasn’t convinced it would be a career; I didn’t think I’d spend the next 10 years of my professional life in hospitality. It is a fantastic industry; it gives so many opportunities – it not only guides you towards what you want to do but also to what you want to achieve in your professional life. It was a compass that helped me get my bearings.
I very much hope to travel with my job. When I was a student, I helped my father in his small hotel in the southwest of France for three or four years during the summer holidays. I learnt a few words in French, which are proving useful now. The industry allows you to travel and languages are beneficial wherever you are. France is the obvious destination for me because Accor’s presence is the biggest in France and I’d like to pick up a few more words of French. I have always admired France and the French, how they live and how they celebrate life every step of the way but I’m open to going anywhere, wherever my job takes me.
To someone who is newly in the sector, keep your eyes and ears open. I didn’t think I would stay in the industry so long and that is only because I met some wonderful people along the way; you can make a career of hospitality. Tapping into the industry, the most important thing is to speak a couple of languages fluently – I speak Polish, English and a bit of French; everything else you can pick up along the way. You don’t have to be super qualified because you’ll meet lots of people who will show you the ropes. Show enthusiasm – and you need to be fond of people, to want to spend time with them, to hear their stories and to tell them the story of your city and the hotel, so you are the gateway to the heart of the city they are visiting.
And to someone who is looking for work, this is the best place to start your career. There is so much going on in a hotel, so many aspects of operations, different ways of dealing with people – customer and employee. Get to know how a big company works and the processes that govern the life of the company, meet people from all over the world and get inspired about what you want to do with your life. Every hotel has different departments and areas of operation, and no matter where you start, it’s super important that you get to experience all of them; it is helpful in making career choices, so you realise what you are good at.
- Adrian Kołba
- Deputy General Manager
- Mercure Kraków Stare Miasto (Poland)