Brits abroad: Sam Drury

19 March 2014 by
Brits abroad: Sam Drury

Sam Drury is the financial director of the four-star, 214-bedroom Jurys Inn in Prague

Describe the style and setting of the Jurys Inn Prague?

The hotel is an attractive modern property, located in the city centre just a short walk from Prague's old historic town centre and key attractions such as the Charles Bridge and the idyllic Prague Castle, which is the largest ancient castle in the world.

What does your current/new job involve?<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

I have full responsibility for all financial aspects of Jurys Inn Prague, including all capital expenditure, profit and loss accounts, budgeting and daily management of the accounts team. I enjoy the variety in my role, and it allows me to regularly exercise a large variety of skills.

What was the attraction of working in Prague?

I wanted to work outside of the UK and as didn't have many commitments keeping me in the UK I had the luxury of not being restricted to any particular area. The quality of the job itself was of a higher priority than the location of the job.

Having previously spent 18 months travelling around the world, how difficult was it for you to settle back into a full-time job?

How did you set about finding the job?

A small agency that had successfully recruited me for a previous position was matched me perfectly with Jurys Inn.

What are the key challenges of working in Prague?

The obvious challenge is the language. Luckily everyone at Jurys Inn Prague speaks English and I have some trusted colleagues who are kind enough to translate for me when needed. Czech is not the easiest of languages, so I only know enough basics to get me through.

The Czech Republic is still in a period of transition, growing economically, and there are still some bureaucratic processes which can be challenging and time consuming. However, progress is being made and we just have to be patient and adapt accordingly.

What do you like about working in Prague?

Funnily enough, not being able to understand much of the language has a positive - it acts as a filter to a lot of everyday intrusions. When I visit the UK, I've noticed just how much there is to listen to in everyday life, with sounds and noise coming from all angles.

What do you dislike?

There is very little to dislike about Prague. If I had to pick one thing then it would have to be the travel connections to the rest of the world. In the UK we take it for granted that we can fly almost anywhere in the world, with little notice and at reasonable prices.

Are there any other British staff working in the hospitality industry in Prague?

There are British staff in Prague, but not many in the hospitality industry. Most of the British Expats I have met work in Banking, Finance or Legal sectors. There are a lot of Chamber of Commerce and other networking events, so we do get to socialise on a regular basis.

How do you think working overseas will enhance your career?

I now feel I have the confidence to work at the highest level in finance, within the hospitality sector, worldwide. Handling corporate income tax returns, financial statements and so on in a non-native language with financial rules specific to the Czech Republic has been a big learning curve.



2011-present Financial director, Jurys Inn Prague

2009-2011 Career break, travelling in over 20 countries

2009 Head concierge, St Brelades Bay Hotel, Jersey

2007-2009 Financial controller, Holiday Inn Sutton, London

2005-2007 Assistant financial controller, One Aldwych, London

2004-2005 Financial controller, Brandshatch Place Hotel, Kent; and L'Horizon, Jersey

2001-2003 Financial controller, Holiday Inn Rochester, Kent

1996-2001 Variety of guest service positions, restaurant supervisor and bar Manager, as well as duty manager from age of 18, Post House/Holiday Inn Wrotham Heath, Kent

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