In our Hospitality ON issue (No 308-309), we interviewed professionnals of the hospitality industry around the world. We present here Francesca Schiano's point of view and thoughts on her job, General Manager of The 25Hours Bikini in Berlin.
Could you tell us about yourself and your background?
I am Francesca, 35-year-old, and I am half Italian and half German. I studied at the University of Bolzano Tourism Management. I worked for several event agencies all around the world and started in Sales at the InterContinental Berlin. I have been working for 8 years at 25hours Bikini Berlin. I come from the hotel’s own ranks. In fact, I was the very first employee of the hotel! As Senior Sales & Event Manager I was responsible for all sales activities of the 149-room hotel.
Why did you choose this specific career?
I grew up in the tourism industry. My dad used to have three restaurants and now still runs a bed & breakfast in Italy on the island Ischia. So already at a very young age, I made my first contacts with the hospitality industry and already back then I knew I wanted to work in tourism. I love to travel and love being a passionate host and I love the challenge of overseeing the whole picture. I love to create experiences and with 25hours and its special hotels and their stories, I found the perfect match.
What exactly are you doing daily?
I am overseeing the daily operation of all departments. I ensure that the strategic goals are met by setting operational policies, creating, and maintaining budgets, managing 120 employees, and creating individual experiences for the guests.
Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes that you are willing to share about your working experience?
To be honest: The past year was not really about funny stories. We focused on surviving, and we did. But I am very happy now to finally meet our guests again and share experiences together – funny, exciting, and surprising.
What skills/human qualities are necessary for this position?
I would say: passion, empathy, professionalism, teamwork, economical understanding, managing skills and creativity. Humour helps, too.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of your work?
Every day is different! And it will never get boring. Working with people is fun but can be as well challenging.
A last word for people interested in your job
I love my job and I am grateful that my passion became my job, because it does not feel like working. I love to interact with people, love to manage, finding solutions, implementing strategies and to benefit from the success. Happy employees and guests are the goal.