It has always been a part of Torbay culture that young adults often find their feet in the employment world with seasonal jobs in hospitality.
The industry has been central to Bay life for well over a century and countless numbers have enjoyed the benefits of working at the forefront of tourism. For some, hospitality becomes a lifelong career choice, an opportunity to grow, develop and progress in a job that offers variety at every turn.
Jess Dowell, Head of Sales and Marketing for Providence Hospitality, which includes the Headland Hotel Torquay, Palace Hotel Paignton and Queens Hotel Paignton among their nationwide operation, took that special career path.
“People often think of hospitality jobs as a starting point or something for the holidays, which is true in some cases, but it can also be a wonderful career choice, offering you the chance to work your way up,” said Jess.
“My hospitality journey began at the age of just 14, when I worked as a kitchen porter at the Gabriel Court Hotel in Stoke Gabriel, which has sadly been knocked down now.
“I then moved to the Imperial Hotel, initially working as a waitress for banquets and weddings, followed by the leisure department, as I was also studying a sports diploma at the time and had aspirations to be a physiotherapist or PE teacher.
“Over time, I just fell in love with hotel life, moving on to a role on main reception and I ended up staying with the Imperial for 15 years.
“During that period, I worked on reception, leisure, banqueting, duty manager, events manager, wedding coordinator, sales researcher and eventually hotel sales manager.
“I only left the Imperial just over two years ago because I was approached by Providence Hospitality, who offered me the job I’m doing now.
“It has been an amazing career journey and hotel life is like being part of a family. I’ve never worked in any other sector and I’ve loved every minute.
“Hotel life is a brilliant social atmosphere, everybody helps each other and a unique sense of camaraderie.”
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