How did your career with Kempinski start, and what is it like today?
Early in my life, I found the hospitality industry very attractive. With the support of my parents, I was fortunate to attend a secondary school specialising in hospitality management. Later, I did my bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management at MODUL University Vienna and then a master’s degree in Luxury Hospitality and Event Management at the International University of Monaco.
Already inspired and fascinated by Kempinski during my educational journey, it was without a doubt that I would complete my mandatory six month internship at Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna to obtain my master’s degree. In the course of this internship back in 2014, my vision became clearer – to embed my future career within Kempinski. Sadly, after the end of the internship, due to lack of positions available, I found another employment outside of Kempinski in order to gain more experience in the Groups & Events and Sales departments.
Of course, I always knew that someday my path would bring me back to my beloved luxury brand Kempinski. So here I am, four years later after I restarted my career with Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna as Director of Groups & Events, and I cannot be happier to be part of such an amazing team and fascinating luxury brand. It makes me proud to work for such a renowned hotel group!
How has the pandemic changed the way you work?
I’ve always loved to have seen the pandemic as an opportunity: to become a better version of myself and to get out of my comfort zone. The pandemic showed how quickly change can arrive and how important it is to adapt to different times. During the pandemic, the Groups & Events and the Sales departments asked for even more flexibility. Over the past 1.5 years, my team and I have definitely changed our working procedures. For example, every enquiry was at short notice, since we were unable to make long-term decisions. Every week was different where we were at high season with many meetings and groups one week while the next week we’d be empty due to changed governmental regulations.
Obviously, this was a worldwide situation, and therefore, the supply for hotels and meeting space was enormous. This also changed the way we worked with our guests and customers since they had a huge portfolio from which they could choose and were more selective than ever before. We had to be even more creative, inventive and imaginative. These times were very challenging, but as I mentioned before, challenging times should be seen as an opportunity, and we at Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna most definitely did not fail to do so.
What advice would you give aspiring future hoteliers?
The hospitality industry is one of the most inspiring and delightful industries one can work in. Of course, there are some aspects to it that are not as amusing as others, but isn’t this the case in any other industry as well? There are many obvious benefits, such as staff rates, connections to other hotels and the tourism industry in general, including restaurants, airlines, etc., which is a huge plus. After working in the hospitality industry for some years, I must admit that I think the most important advice I would give an aspiring future hotelier is that no other industry fosters togetherness and unity such as this one. When you decide to work in a hotel, you will immediately feel as if you are part of a unit. The support between colleagues is enormous, every department works closely with each other in order to keep one big wheel rolling, the feeling is amazingly pleasant, and I would never want to miss out on it.