Travel, Adventure and Hospitality has led Adelle all over the globe. From working in London to volunteering in Namibia, she’s worked in Adventure Tourism roles in Australia, and currently she has landed on her feet in the UK working as a Receptionist for a small boutique hotel group called The Devonshire Group. Check out where a a future in tourism or hospitality could take you.
Why did you choose to follow a career in tourism/hospitality?
- To better understand the hospitality industry in order to open up opportunities around the world so that I had the ability to work and travel at the same time.
Why did you choose QRC?
- I learn best when physically doing what I am taught as opposed to learning through visuals or audio etc. The opportunity to work within the industry on the 9 month placement that is offered as part of the course really attracted my attention as it didn’t only mean that I could learn kinesthetically, but also gave me the opportunity to work abroad.
Where was your internship and what was the biggest “take away” from your internship experience?
- I did my internship on Hamilton Island in Australia. My big takeaway moment from this experience was that teamwork and communication is very important in any aspect of a job. I found that when a team works well together, eg. in the restaurant, it not only helps the business run smoothly, but brings people together and creates a really fun working environment which I think is important as we spend most of our life at work.
Tell me about your journey since leaving QRC.
- After QRC, I moved to Auckland where I worked as a food and beverage assistant in the conferencing and events department. After that, I moved back to Hamilton Island for a year where I worked as a Buggy Hire Attendant at the Buggy Hire shop. I was quickly promoted to Buggy Hire Team Leader. While working at Buggy Hire I also picked up shifts around the Island in different restaurants and in the events department. I then flew to London and spent six months travelling, finishing off this stint with six weeks in Namibia where I volunteered at a Wildlife Conservation Park called The Harnas Wildlife Foundation. Over lockdown, I stayed in England in the Peak District and mostly basked in the sun which I have not seen in England since 😂
- After lockdown I worked in a Hotel called the Rutland Arms Hotel, Bakewell in Food and Beverage for a few months before finding the Devonshire Group. The Devonshire Group is made up of luxury hotels, inns, restaurants, farms, retail etc. The group comprises charities and businesses throughout the UK and is owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. I started my journey with this company last year when I was offered the position of Assistant Supervisor/Head Barista located on the Chatsworth Estate in the Peak District. This is where Chatsworth House is, which is the stately home where the Duke and Duchess live. The cafe and restaurants are located in the building that used to be the old stables years ago. I floated between working in the Cavendish Restaurant and the Carriage House Cafe while also picking up the odd shift in the events department. Recently, I decided I wanted to move away from Food and Beverage as that is the area of Hospitality that I have spent most my time in, and applied for a receptionist position at The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow, one of the Luxury Hotels within the Devonshire Group. I am still employed at Chatsworth as I will eventually start picking up the odd events shift again one I have settled into my new role.
What are your main responsibilities?
- We have an early and late shift that consists of checking in and out guests, ensuring every guest feels welcome and at home during their stay. The reception desk is at the heart of the hotel, so we also greet all guests arriving and help the restaurant with arrivals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also take on some responsibilities similar to the reservations team eg. making hotel reservations and restaurant reservations. We work closely with the other hotels and inn within the group, so on occasion, we will create reservations for their properties also. We deal with all of the transactional side of the daily duties eg. all payments for the restaurant and daily hotel billings and cashing up at the end of the day.
How did your time at QRC help prepare you for your current job?
- The course helped prepare me for going into the industry by looking further into how the industry is run and the internship helped me to understand what I had learnt on paper, in a more practical form. I found that learning in different ways helped me to understand more in depth.
What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
- As a receptionist at the Cavendish Hotel, we are based in the centre of the Hotel and therefore given more responsibility as we are the connection between each department eg. housekeeping, kitchen, food and beverage and also the guests. It is just a small country hotel, which means we have the luxury of being able to personalise guests’ stays more and really get to know the guests, therefore creating great connections and encouraging guests to return. I enjoy having return guests as it’s not only more personal for them, but also for our team as the guests really take an interest in us also.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
- I can’t remember who said this to me, but someone said to me once in a busy and stressful work environment to focus on the customer in front of me because if you keep focusing on all the chaos around you, you will make more mistakes and the customer experience will suffer for the person you are dealing with. This advice helped to calm my stress levels and realise that I can’t change what is out of my control, so there is no need to worry about it. Another important piece of advice I learnt (also can’t remember who said it) was when a customer is complaining, the best thing to do is assess the situation and 9 times out of 10, the customer just wants to explain the problem and vent to you. By actively listening and remembering not to take what the person is saying to heart (because it is not personal), you will be able to easily identify the base of the problem and find the best solution which in turn will help de-escalate the situation and the customer will naturally calm down.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
- Don’t take things personally and remember that a customer at the end of the day is just human. I used to work myself up in my head about the fact that I was serving this person and forgot that I can have a laugh with them and a normal conversation regardless of what role I am playing in the moment. This in turn enhances the guest experience as it becomes more personal and helps to relax the situation or encounter. Another piece of advice would be that it is okay to make mistakes as that is only natural and the best way to come back from a mistake is to be completely honest with workmates or the customer. Being honest and admitting mistakes can change what could be a situation where a customer is unhappy into a situation where the customer will return because they felt comfortable in knowing that the service is genuine.