My name is Marcela and I started working at The Grand Brighton on 3rd July last year as a placement student, and will be finishing on 28th June 2019 with an exciting future to come! I wanted to share some of my experiences whilst working with this exceptional hotel, and share some behind the scenes sneak peeks!
Studying an undergraduate course of International Events Management and Marketing at the University of Brighton, I decided to join the iconic hotel for my placement year. From Reception, to Conference & Banqueting Operations, followed by the Meetings & Events Office and finally Marketing, this experience has been life changing, and I have learnt and grown from it in so many different ways!
The feeling you get when you enter the doors of this Victorian inheritance does not fade with time. The smile on every face, the tranquillity throughout the corridors and the turnaround moment admiring the bright-blue sea… it’s just the place to be.
Doing work experience was not my first option, but I completely changed my mind when an offer to work at The Grand Brighton Hotel popped into my inbox. My instinct was telling me to give it a try, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to get this opportunity. I was very keen on acknowledging the hotel experience as a whole. And I thought it was the right place for me.
My first three months were in Reception, which was the best introduction as I got to know how many different things work in the hotel. It was amazing having the chance to be connected with so many different departments, and to be that initial point of contact for the guests, as well as getting to know them during their stay.
My second stage was in the Conference & Banqueting Operations team, where there were a huge variety of different events going on. The whole hotel is like a blank canvas which can be converted into all sorts! The team work so efficiently on creating magical environments and ensuring all our events run like clockwork. This was such a brilliant experience that prepared me for what will be the next step...
Being the Christmas Co-ordinator on my third stage was the most intense experience! It was such a huge responsibility organising and planning so many parties and festive dinners, but it was beautiful receiving lovely comments from some of our guests expressing their thanks for their Christmas Parties, Christmas Day Lunch or New Year’s Eve Ball. I was called ‘the Christmas girl’, and I have never felt festive spirit like that before. It was all about giving our guests a personal touch to their Christmas celebrations, for both our newcomers and our most loyal guests and I loved seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces when their festive dreams came together!
After having such a successful Christmas period, I stayed in the office working on the coordination of the daily events. Which was quite interesting to follow the dynamic of different events week by week and getting to know so many organisers that chose The Grand to experience it in such a different way. I was lucky to work with such a strong #girlpower team, with the biggest hearts and a great humour. I cannot explain how much I learnt from them, professionally and personally.
I have hugely benefited myself from each department I have worked in. This experience has made me gain a higher self-esteem, more confidence in myself and to fall in love again with my degree. Countless personal skills, improvement and awareness in the workplace...
My last stage was in the Marketing department. I knew it was going to be the shortest time spent in any department that I was going to work in, but I wish I could have stayed longer. After nearly a very long year of hard work in every department, trying to absorb as much as I could and learn from the best, I realised my strong passion for marketing. I was so lucky to work with three women who were very inspirational, professional and were making my marketing experience the best it could be. I was over the moon in the last few weeks, and this made me realise what path I want to take in my future career.
So many things have been happening these past few months. I proudly achieved for the first time ever, The Grand Brighton Half Marathon, highly supported by my team. I participated in the project ‘Roots to Growth’ as a volunteer. We had our Staff Party with a circus theme, which was absolutely amazing! I attended the Supervisory Development Training, which has taught me a lot about the hotel, the industry and the essentials to be a good supervisor. Not to mention all the different activities that the People team organised for us: a yoga session, free spa treatments, treats and tombolas! There are numerous perks of working here and everyone is extremely nice and helpful. Their values go above and beyond the hospitality standards. You will always have the opportunity to learn and grow. There are plenty of internal development opportunities too, which I found amazing. The responsibility I was given for some projects showed how much trust they have in me, and I always had their support and assistance, no matter what.
All the different moments and people will remain with me, along with the laughter. I loved the fact that so many people are working together and feel like a family, and here you really do end up working alongside your friends as one big team. Everyone takes care of each other, there is always a smile from someone that can change your day and you get the very best advice from the most experienced ones.
I would like to express my immense thanks to every member of the whole Grand team that has trained me, helped me, supported me, and most importantly, made me feel so welcome to work in this hotel. I can’t recommend a placement at The Grand Brighton enough - and my advice would be to take every opportunity, look for every possibility to grow, and learn from the best!
To speak to the People team, and find out more about career opportunities at The Grand Brighton, click here