Hannah Loughlin is director of sales at the Gore and Pelham hotels in London
What has been your worst job?
Saturday morning pub cleaning. My dad suggested I "get a job" and asked at his local pub. Before I knew it, I had a job and a career!
What was so bad about it?
I was 15, waking up at 6am on weekends, and cleaning the men's toilets was not a highlight. Polishing lots of brass fittings, cleaning the bedrooms, serving the owners a full English breakfast when I was starving, and deep-cleaning the fryers every Sunday. Not to mention the £2.50 per hour, before the minimum wage came in. But at the end of the week, I was the richest teenager in my class and had a lot of new friends from work.
I'm still friendly with everyone I used to work with, and they are as surprised as me that my career in hotels started right there, in that pub…
What did you learn from the experience?
This industry requires full commitment and a lot of passion, as well as a thirst for knowing everything about your environment. If you're not prepared to be the housekeeper, you're not prepared to be the director of sales I think. You have to want to know how everything works, why, at what cost and how you can constantly improve and develop your property.
I got to know behind the scenes, and first hand, how every role is equally important to the industry. It all plays a huge part in the 24 hour industry that we work in. I'm of the mindset that in order to understand anything, I have to have tried it.
What is the best bit of your current role?
The autonomy to be creative, in pursuit of sales and the people I work for and with. Edward Bracken and Con Ring, the owners, are as passionate about the industry as I am. Since I have been at the hotels, we have spent more than £300,000. In economic uncertainty they have been relentless with detail and the guest experience. They put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.
Travelling is also fun. The hotel industry really does unite so many nationalities. Singing Karaoke with Indian consortia agents and eating Japanese with Australian travel agents was a lot of fun. Taxis in China though are something else.
London Fashion week and 100% Design week at the Gore and the Pelham. It will be party and networking central and we are at the heart of it.