As you know, the Receptionist of the Year competition has kicked off with the opening of the applications. To inspire the upcoming talent in our industry, we have interviewed last years participants and got them to tell us how they experienced this exciting time of the year. First to go is Christine Foo, working at the Four Seasons on Park Lane.
Tell us a little more about yourself and your career to date?
Hello! My name is Christine and I am Canadian and Malaysian, and grew up in Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Japan. I completed a Bachelor’s in a very different field - Sociology, French, and Buddhist Psychology - and moved to London to complete a Master’s in Hospitality Business. After graduating, I began working at the Front Desk at Four Seasons in 2022, which is actually my first job in the hotel industry. My first ever paid job was at a smoothie chain when I was 16. My work experience also consists of film & TV production, volunteer teaching, and a bit of marketing.
You recently were awarded second runner up in the AICR National Receptionist of the year competition, what were your first thoughts when you found out you’d achieved this?
It was an amazing feeling as I was not expecting to be placed at all. When my name was announced I stood there in shock for a few moments! To achieve such a momentous professional award is, of course, down to your efforts to get here, but you would have had to have been nominated. Would you like to send a message to your nominator?
I am very grateful to my nominating managers – Sebastian Knoerr and Brad Mumford - for their faith and support in me. It is such an honour to be able to represent Four Seasons, which is a company I always wanted to work for, and to have had the opportunity to compete at a national level at this early stage in my career.
What made you join the AICR?
I decided to take part in the competition as it is a fantastic learning opportunity. I want to make the most out of the opportunities that are presented to me in order to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to have a successful career in hospitality.
Now you have achieved this prestigious professional recognition, what’s next?
I have learnt so much during the past year and will continue to grow and learn. In the future I would love to work in different countries to gain more international experience and insight. I would like to build a long term career in an international hotel brand.
Do you have any advice for people considering entering the competition this year?
Believe in yourself, as cliché as it sounds. No matter the outcome, you will not regret taking the opportunity to give it a shot.
What would you say to Manager’s who are considering putting their own team members forward for the first time?
Regardless of the outcome of the competition, it is a great opportunity for receptionists to get to know their own strengths and weaknesses, and to network with other hospitality professionals.
Tell us three things about yourself that we don’t know!
In my spare time I enjoy baking, watching movies, and going to the gym
I did a solo trip to Thailand a few years ago, which is one of my favorite places I have travelled to. My favourite cuisine is Japanese or Italian.