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"What motivates me? To see my staff fulfilled and my guests happy"

"What motivates me? To see my staff fulfilled and my guests happy"

With more responsibility and exciting new developments in her personal life, the year 2016 will almost certainly be a memorable one for Juliana Garcia. As the manager of the ibis Styles in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, she demonstrates in the best way imaginable that a career and personal fulfilment can go hand-in-hand. On condition that you show unswerving self-discipline.

You've been with AccorHotels for four and a half years now, but you were appointed to your first position as a hotel general manager (GM) last July. Is this what you've been working towards for so long?

I began studying for a career in the hotel trade at the age of 19. I then worked for a ski complex in the United States before returning to Belo Horizonte in Brazil to complete my training, by acquiring new skills in the administrative field. Once I'd gained my qualifications, I joined AccorHotels as an apprentice in an ibis Budget, eventually becoming assistant manager for several hotels successively!


So you're used to complex and even stressful situations?

Yes, each hotel has its own particularities and difficulties. I always had to be prepared for challenges, so I kept updating myself, looking for knowledge. It's been rather a mad time but I'm really glad that all of my hopes and ambitions have come together. I believe that when you love what you do, you have energy to get out of bed every day.


To achieve something like that, does it require a career plan calculated down to the last


I never had a specific plan in mind to become a GM but I always thought that it was something that could happen. If I succeeded, it's all down to my commitment to my work.


What motivates you to keep going despite all the pitfalls and uncertainty?

I'm really pumped when I see that my day-to-day efforts are encouraging my team and that the hotel’s results are beginning to improve. Seeing my staff fulfilled and my guests happy is also something I find very motivating. When I became a GM I was overjoyed but not surprised: I always felt that I was in a position to take on responsibility.


Building a career isn't all plain sailing, especially when you need to reconcile this commitment to your work with more personal commitments…

There are inevitably obstacles. Sometimes, I realize that I've been focusing on my career rather than my private life, but ultimately I've always succeeded in managing both. At least I think I have, otherwise my husband would have left me before we get married, 3 months ago!


Do you have a method for maintaining the right balance between your work and private life?

My time is very precious to me, so I have to be very organized. Each day, I jot down everything I have to do. Additionally, I have every confidence in my team and I show them that I'm there alongside them on a daily basis, keeping an eye on arrivals and departures or listening to everyone's comments or concerns. Finally, I stay firmly focused on my objectives, so there's no lost time. When I get back home, I throw myself wholeheartedly into my private life and make the most of my free time.

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