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. Next to go is the winner of last years competition, Jude Haddad, working at the Ritz London.
Tell us a little more about yourself and your career to date.
I worked in a hotel part time when I was 16 up until the age of 18 – that was my first experience in hospitality. Soon after, I studied Hotel Development & Finance at Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland between 2018 and 2021, and I did a 6-month placement at the reception of Hotel Arts Barcelona. After graduation, I found myself working at the reception of the Ritz London and currently hold the position of Chef de Brigade.
You recently won the AICR National Receptionist of the year competition, what were your first thoughts when you found out you’d achieved this?
I couldn’t believe it! It was really exciting and such an honor to have even been part of the competition. My first thought was that I needed to call my parents to tell them the good news!
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 loved the experience, and I am grateful to my nominator that I was chosen to be put forward for the competition. It taught me a lot about perseverance, and made me have more faith in myself and in what I do.
What made you join the AICR?
I believe that the hospitality industry is one of the hardest industries to work in due to its nature being constantly in front of the guest. As such, it is crucial as hospitality professionals to have a very strong support system between each other, both within the organisation and outside of it. The AICR helps to establish friendships and connections between people all over the world, creating a hospitality community wherever one may be - specifically the reason I wanted to join!
Now you have achieved this prestigious professional recognition, what’s next?
I’m looking forward to progressing in my career in the Rooms Division department. More so, I’ve enjoyed being more involved within the industry, as I have been asked to collaborate on different media such as podcasts, and I hope to continue doing so.
Do you have any advice for people considering entering the competition this year?
Don’t let stress get the best of you – enjoy the experience and meeting people. Remember that it is an achievement to even partake in the competition, as you’re being considered as one of the best in the country.
What would you say to Manager’s who are considering putting their own team members forward for the first time?
Encourage them to enjoy the competition and be themselves. Try to ensure they stay calm and do not let themselves get too nervous or stressed!
Tell us three things about yourself that we don’t know!
I’ve been learning how to play the electric guitar
I love cinema, and I enjoy watching old films
My favourite band is the Arctic Monkeys