A student in ICHM’s inaugural year, 1993, Natasha is now Hotel Manager - Mercure and Ibis Brisbane overseeing a team of 190 staff across the two properties.
She describes her three years at ICHM as ‘amazing’, and says she is still in close contact with a number of the 46 students who went through with her.
Natasha’s career progression reflects the advice she gave to students - the more exposure you can give yourself to different cultures, different brands and different roles, the better you will be’.
Her first placement was at The Savoy, London and her second was at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi.
‘I was hooked. I am a girl from country New South Wales and I would never have experienced these outstanding opportunities without ICHM’, she says.
A traineeship with Hyatt Hotels Australia followed graduation and she spent three years in Food & Beverage with Hyatt Adelaide (now InterContinental) before transferring to the Park Hyatt Melbourne as part of the pre-opening team.
For the next 13 years she worked with global hotel brands, including IHG Group, Hilton Hotels and Jumeirah International, in countries spanning the United Arab Emirates, England, New Zealand and Australia.
Natasha has been with AccorHotels since moving back to Australia in 2013, completing its Strategic Leadership Program - a high potential female leadership program - in 2016. She took up her current role after a decade in Sales & Marketing leadership roles in New Zealand and Australia.
Natasha says that AccorHotels is ‘It’ for her and she plans on remaining with the group.
In closing her presentation, Natasha gave students some advice she would have liked back then knowing what she knows now. She puts working on trust front and centre - ‘in others and most importantly in yourself’, saying, ‘Great teams are founded on trust.’
She also advised students to work on their brand, which in turn builds reputation.
‘Trust, brand, reputation; these are everything’, she says.
Other advice: ‘be resilient; treat every interaction as an interview; smile, laugh, have fun; try everything; take risks; try not to say no; talk to the guests; be responsible for your own destiny; ask people to come on a journey with you’.
Natasha maintains a close bond with ICHM and says she was delighted to be on campus once again. She has served on ICHM’s scholarship interview panel in both Australia and New Zealand.