I have always worked in the hospitality industry and actually started out working for Walt Disney World in Florida - I was a hostess, bartender and trainer at a pub in Epcot.
I joined Hallmark Hotels five years ago as a full-time receptionist at Hallmark Hotel Hull. After four months, my role split to a part-time sales role and part-time receptionist. I continued to progress through the company moving on to working on weddings and special events before being promoted to the meetings and events management team.
It was then that my manager at the time told me about the Top Talent programme and suggested that I put myself forward for it as she saw that I was really ambitious and wanted to succeed in my career. I applied and went through an assessment day of around 25 people and was very happy to make it to the final four.
The Top Talent programme gave me more confidence when it came to asking questions about various parts of the business and opened more doors for me within Hallmark Hotels. It was really interesting and inspiring to be able to speak to people from the central support team who are specialists in their areas of the business. I had the opportunity to pick their brains and learn from their experiences.
The programme made me think differently and more ‘outside the box’ and helped me analyse and understand the Hallmark Hotels brand better. The whole Top Talent team took part in monthly workshops where we would look at the businesses from a different angle each time, such as sales and marketing, brand, food and beverage and so on.
Now that I’ve graduated, I have progressed to Assistant Manager at Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan. I’m really enjoying my new role and am gaining the experience I need to hopefully become GM in the future.