Career Profile: Laura Marlow

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

Laura Marlow - Christmas co-ordinator, London Marriott hotel County Hall
Laura Marlow - Christmas co-ordinator, London Marriott hotel County Hall
Laura Marlow was last month appointed Christmas co-ordinator at the London Marriott hotel County Hall. Handling everything from festive family lunches to bespoke packages, corporate events and private parties, her new role marks a return to the events circuit for Marlow, who began her career in hospitality as events manager at sky bar Cloud 23. Prior to joining County Hall, Marlow was an executive at Marriott’s Pennines office, responsible for overseeing events at nine hotels across the region.

How I got to where I am:

My first part-time job at age 13 was in a restaurant. I loved the buzz of a busy Saturday night shift and seeing my guests having a good time. My parents and grandparents are from a hospitality background, so I always had a keen interest in industry and was whisked around all the nice hotels and restaurants. I’m a keen lover of drink so I soon realised there was no other industry for me!

Hard work, getting your face out there and a positive attitude certainly helped me get where I am today. I think to go far you need to be flexible in where you are willing to work and if you are willing to move around, even internationally, you will do very well.

Hilton gave me a full-time job as a hostess at Cloud 23 in Manchester, this gave me the chance to get my foot in the door and prove I was capable without having a degree on my CV. Marriott is a great company to progress within. It are very much about developing their associates and keeping them within the company.

My greatest achievement:

Winning Associate of the Year within my first year working at the hotel was a big positive for me! This was voted for by my colleagues, so it was really lovely to know you are appreciated by others in your hotel.

My biggest challenge:

Finding a job was difficult after quitting University without a degree or any serious full time hospitality experience. So far though my events haven’t had any disastrous challenges…fingers crossed this continues! But I am sure there are many challenges ahead.

What I love about the industry:

Without a shadow of doubt the people - not only the guests I get to meet on a daily basis, but the people I get to work with. Being in hospitality you work with people from all over the world and from many different cultures, I learn something new from them everyday!

The guests I meet are always a pleasure too. It is a very sociable industry and as a people person it’s a dream!

My future plans:

I absolutely love events but I am keen to try out other departments to become a hospitality expert. My end goal is to have my own hotel so I have a lot more to learn, working in the sales and events department has been wonderful experience but I am keen to learn more in the food and beverage departments.

My advice to a young entrepreneur in the hospitality industry is:

Positive attitude is essential - never stop smiling to your guests and colleagues. Good teamwork is also key. Your colleagues are the ones who can make or break an event, dinner for two or guest stay. It is important to maintain strong relationships with colleagues and they will always help you out and look after your guests.

Be passionate about the industry, know the product and love what you are selling or offering!

If I wasn’t in the hospitality industry I’d be…

I find that so difficult to answer - I can’t imagine working in anything other than hospitality! I love this industry, but my second passion is in fashion, a buyer for Harrods would have been very nice too!

Related topics: People, Hotels, Career Profile

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