After graduating from university in Greenwich, Georgiana Risco enrolled in the GROW Graduate Programme run by Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels and hasn’t looked back since.
As part of the programme Georgiana is working as Graduate Manager across a number of hotels within the group, Verge caught up with Georgiana to talk about the programme and her life as a hotelier for the expanding hotel chain.
Describe your day-to-day routine?
On a daily basis, I am the duty manager of the hotel for that shift, morning, evening or night. The Jurys Inn motto is ‘Stay Happy’, so my main role is to ensure that the hotel runs smoothly, and our customers experience just that, whether they are on holiday or a business trip.
A typical morning shift will begin with a handover from the team as soon as I arrive which will focus on activity from the previous working day. Then I will walk around the hotel to ensure that all areas are prepared for business. For example, I’ll check that all our delicious breakfast food is laid out on the buffet and ensure that the restaurant is properly set up for our guests’ arrival, ready for them to enjoy the most important meal of the day!
Then I’ll visit reception to check they have all the necessary items and information to assist customers; this is incredibly important because they are the first thing that our customers see. Our business offering is also incredibly important to us as we have lots of business clients staying during the week, therefore I always check that our meeting rooms are fully set up and ready to be used by our guests.
My evening shifts have a similar structure to the breakfast shifts, but breakfast switches to dinner or just drinks etc. Although the structure is the same, every day is different and throws a new challenge which keeps me on my toes and makes the job very interesting!
What attracted you to the role?
I love travelling, working with a team and creating positive experiences, so when looking at all of that, it’s no wonder that a job in hospitality fits me like a glove. Through my job I meet new people from all over the world, learn about their culture and countries and ensure they have a great experience while staying with us.
I chose the Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels Graduate Programme shortly after graduating, when I was very eager to put the knowledge and skills I developed at university into practice. The company offers a great training scheme with plenty of development support and allows students to learn everything about running a hotel in real life, rather than in the classroom. Not to mention the great opportunities for career progression that are available, which have meant that I have a good chance of securing the Head of Department position after two years on the job. All while being given the chance to work in three different cities and hotels in the UK and Ireland!
What’s the most challenging part of the job?
Having to be prepared to take on whatever challenge the day throws at you – which could literally be anything. Whilst my shifts are very straight forward, no two days are the same. Business can be impacted by anything from weather to the football results, to flight cancellations and power cuts. Can you imagine running a shift with no electricity and making sure that guests’ experience isn’t impacted? Well, neither could I until I did it – it was a big challenge for everyone, but we did our best.
What’s your advice to graduates looking to follow in your footsteps?
My first piece of advice would be this: be willing to learn and do everything and anything that comes your way – that is how you will further your knowledge become a stronger team member. Then I would encourage people to have a goal in mind and stick to it, especially after you’ve had a hard shift. And last but not least, be open to new opportunities – you never know which one will lead you to the greatest adventure of your life!
The Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels Graduate Programme is now open for 2020 applications. All applicants can apply from now until 7thFebruary by visiting: