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PINEWOOD ALUMNI PROFILE: ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON

Elizabeth Williamson graduated from Pinewood in 2006. She then attended Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland before graduating from the Swiss Hotel Association Program. She currently works as a guest services manager at the Stanford Park Hotel.

(Caption and photo courtesy of Elizabeth Williamson)

“When I was a teenager, my mom told me about how she used to have tea with my great aunt Blanca at the Carlyle Hotel. Blanca was the director of South American sales and worked there for most of her life. When she retired, the hotel provided her with a suite as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for all her years of dedicated service. She lived at the Carlyle Hotel until she died. This story piqued my interest and I began thinking about a career in hotel management.”

INTERVIEWED BY MAXINE MARCUS
STAFF WRITER

Q. Being the guest services manager, what does your job entail?

A. Wow, where do I begin? It entails managing a growing team of different personalities and work styles while ensuring that both your external and internal guests are taken care of to their satisfaction. While it has its challenges, it is an extremely rewarding position to be in, and I was recently awarded Manager of the Quarter for my performance and dedicated service to the hotel.

Q. What interests you so much about hospitality?

A. I have always had a passion for the industry and could never see myself doing anything else. I truly live by the motto of, “Do what you love, love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life.” That is how I view my career choice and I have never looked back.

Q. Is traveling something that you enjoy?

A. I love to travel. I have been very fortunate to have been able to travel from a very young age to several locations around the world, and I only hope to continue to be able to travel.

Q. How often do you travel?

A. I have been able to travel to England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Caribbean, and various parts of the United States. Having attended school in Switzerland, it gave me the opportunity to explore Europe and all it has to offer.

Q. Would you recommend being a [guest services manager]  as a job to people who enjoy traveling?

A. Would I recommend this as a job for someone to loves hospitality and is looking to grow their career? Absolutely! However, my present position is not one that includes any travel.

Q. What has studying abroad taught you?

A. My education at Les Roches International School of Hotel management in Switzerland provided me with a unique perspective on the industry and recognizing the value of a well-trained and motivated workforce.

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