When I graduated I already had the offer of an 18-month management training placement in the United States. I began working at Dolce’s Tarrytown House, New York, as a junior conference planner, which gave me a great overview of how a full-service hotel actually works. I won the Manager of the Quarter award, even though I was only a trainee!
I then looked for a job in Turin, Italy, because I wanted to be part of the whole Olympic Games experience. After a position at Express by Holiday Inn, I was hired as front office manager by a Spanish hotel chain, AC Hotels, that was opening a five-star hotel in Turin. It was a great challenge because, in the beginning, when the hotel opened, together with the general manager, I had to organize and coordinate all the different departments, as well as trying to drum up business!
I was promoted to general manager of our four-star hotel in Vicenza – I was only 28 years old! Working there was a huge challenge as the hotel had been open for only six months and guest numbers weren’t great. My very first experience as a general manager was very valuable for me in my career as it helped me discover my managerial strengths and weaknesses. I believe it’s important to be hard working, organized, respectful, eager to learn, a good communicator and listener, and to strive for excellence.