Hear from QRC Hospitality Management graduate and entrepreneur Dani Ferrier as she talks about life since QRC and her business daniferriercoaching.com
Why did you choose to follow a career in hospitality management?
Growing up in different places around the world as a kid meant that I had caught the travel bug early on. I wanted a career that allowed me to pick up a job anywhere I went and help me develop cross-transferable skills. I love people and working in the service industry made a lot of scene. I also got a job in a restaurant when I was 14 and had a passion for great, fresh food and tasty craft beverages.
Why did you initially choose QRC?
QRC was a logical choice because of its location and relationships with hospitality outlets in Queenstown. I loved the size and standard of the school and its international approach with the affiliations and opportunities to go overseas.
Where did you undertake your internship?
I went Sun Valley, Idaho, USA for my internship to work as a hotel receptionist at the ski resort’s hotel. A mixed group of adventure tourism and hospitality students went over there together and had an incredible experience. I ended up loving it so much that I stayed for the whole summer season as well, extending my internship by a few months and then came back to QRC one intake later. I really loved this choice as I grew stronger relationships in the town and was able to travel some more of the country.
Tell us about your journey since graduating.
Since graduating I have jet-setted to many different places. I got a working holiday visa in France and after learning French worked in a ski resort Challet and restaurant. I then moved onto Germany and worked in a 5 star hotel as a senior waitress and following that made my way over to Canada. Just 2 years after graduating I was the Assistant events manager at an Arts and film center where I had 50 staff and did over 1.2 million in sales. We catered for big events of up to 500 people in a really dynamic management role right in the heart of Banff national park in Alberta. My travels continued for a few more years living in different towns and working in various roles including short seasons as a hiking guide in New Zealand. I never stayed more than 1 year in any position because of visa restrictions or simply because I had taken what I wanted to learn in that role. I can now proudly say that I have worked in over 15 hospitality businesses, speak 5 languages and lived in 12 countries over my lifetime. This makes for a very interesting (and confusing) life story to tell.
What role are you in now?
All of this life experience helped me build resilience and understanding about how the world works , not to mention meeting thousands of people from all different walks of life. When Covid hit I started to ask myself the big questions ‘ What is my purpose on this planet?’. I always knew that I wanted to give back to people in a profound way and use my dynamic personality as a voice for change. I decided to study to become a Life Coach. I have started my own business (daniferriercoaching.com) where I design Empowerment workshops for people to gain vital life skills and realize their true potential.
What are your main responsibilities?
I have the flexibility to create any kind of program and also use my life experience to help others. I have developed Mountain Empowerment programs for people to get into nature and connect with themselves. My main responsibility is managing my social media platform called (Cultural Chameleons) where I do videos and challenges to spread information about how to live a happy and resourceful life. As a business owner Networking is also a key factor and getting involved with community projects helps me get known. I am now training to be a public speaker and speaking at events of up to 100 people teaching them about emotional intelligence. I am also writing magazine articles that create awareness in a greater number of people which I am extremely passionate about. I also work with business owners and their staff to help them with confidence, communication and goal setting which increases productivity and profits.
How did your time at QRC help prepare you for where you are now?
I learned a lot about at QRC about building relationships with people and how having a healthy view on feedback really helps with your growth. I love how personable the tutors were and really loved how hands on it was and everyone got stuck in to get the job done to a high standard. It taught me the fundamentals of business which I am now applying in my own situation and using it to relate to others.
What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
When I work with a client who comes to me in a ‘stuck state’, not knowing what to do with their lives or where they are heading and after they finish a program with me they are flourishing and have so much more positive energy!
What is your ultimate career goal / What are your plans for the future?
My goal is to affect the lives of 10,000 people and have a massive positive impact in the world through public speaking and workshop facilitation. I plan to grow my business significantly and will be training others in the future to facilitate my programs.
Any words of wisdom for potential students?
Vulnerability is the key to life. When you share your emotions with others you create a bridge of connection that allows the other person onto the other side of the wall that we put up. “Help” is the most courageous thing you can say.