We interviewed Sharon Jezeph - Sales Manager for Jurys Inn Hotel Group as our spotlight interview for November. We asked her many questions which gave us further insights into her past and present career, as well as exploring what she enjoys doing outside of her working days. Here's what she had to say:
1. Tell us about your professional experience and background working within the industry? I started my career as a commis chef at the Belfry, left and moved to London where I lived and worked for 26 years. On returning to the Midlands I joined the Belfry sales team where I enjoyed a ten year career which ended with me running a sales team of 15 and targets of over 23 million. I have worked with many industry colleagues and have huge respect for all.
2. Can you tell us a little about Jurys Inn Hotel Group? A group dedicated to giving our customers the ultimate hotel experience backed by our “stay happy” ethos. When we were bought by the Fattal group who owns Leonardo hotels early this year, has now seen us grow from a UK & Ireland brand to an European recognised hotel chain. In the past few weeks we have acquired 2 new hotels, the Iconic Midland In Manchester and The Grand Harbour Southampton …. More to follow
3. Describe a working day in your shoes? No two days are ever the same. As an account manager, my day is driven by the needs of my agents, working with hotel teams and travelling the country. Reporting is an important part of the week so Fridays will tend to be an “office “ day.
4. With many different venues offering unique places for meeting and conferences has this had an impact on what you provide as part of your service to a meeting or conference? The trend is defiantly shifting to unique & unusual venues, however sometimes these briefs come with a lack of understanding that these venues are not designed to cater for larger events. Some venues are empty shells meaning everything from power, toilets , Wifi, catering has to be bought in, if budgets allow these are very successful but for most companies having to look at event costs then the traditional route where everything is all under one roof will still be considered.
5. Can you tell us one experience that in your eyes has stood out within the industry, that may have changed the way you think? I was in the industry when the crash happened, overnight hundreds of events were cancelled, the biggest impact was on team building and being seen to celebrate, it took a few years for clients to recover confidence and go back to rewarding teams and making conferences enjoyable again
6. What do you love most about your current job? I work with small to medium sized agents, I can be sat in a local café, in a converted garage or small office. No two agents are the same, all very different clients and varied expectations. I love being a remote worker and I can be seen traveling up and down the country each week.
7. Do you have a favourite team building event, if so what is it? I enjoy it’s a knockout, but only if the weather is nice
8. What do you do to relax in your spare time? I enjoy cooking.. but my biggest weekend activity is watching semi pro football. My son is a goalkeeper currently signed for Tamworth FC but is on loan at Worcester FC so not very relaxing but it takes me out of my every day life for 90 minutes a week.
9. If you could choose one thing off your bucket list to do today what would it be, and why? I would go on a safari to South Africa, to see animals in their natural environment must be so exciting.
10. What does your perfect weekend include? Football, red wine, a nice dinner and family time.