Founder of The Hampton Grocer
“One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my career is the art of staying in touch. You never know when you will cross paths again with people you worked for, worked with, or interviewed. I never imagined that working as a hostess at O Ya Boston while in college would lead to me working with Chef Tim & Nancy again.„
Company culture is paramount and often overlooked in the interview process. It is so important to get a solid understanding of who you will be working for and who will be your co-workers. When interviewing, always be skeptical if you meet with only one person - the broader the perspective you can get for what the company is like, the better.
My past mentors advised me to make goal-setting a priority with your employers. Setting professional and personal goals is something that has helped me stay on track and grow tremendously over the past five years.
All of my internships and jobs have impacted my career in unique ways. The most significant was my first internship for celebrity wedding and event planner, Marcy Blum. On my second day of the internship, Marcy's assistant quit with a full lineup of summer weddings looming. I had no choice but to step up. I became a sponge, learning so much in such a short time, and continued to freelance for her on-and-off for eight years.
I've always loved food. I began baking and reading cookbooks at a very young age - one of my baking bibles was Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course. As a teenager, I thought pastry was the route for me. When I was 13, I worked at a bakery in Brooklyn and then became an unpaid pastry intern at my family's favorite Italian restaurant at 15. When it came time for college, hospitality was the only thing I knew, and that led me to Boston University School of Hospitality.
A team that you can count on is the greatest gift when it comes to work/life balance. There would be no balance without a well-oiled support system that you can trust to get the job done. I am (almost) always first in at the office, and I look forward to my quiet time before my team arrives to get organized for the day. A zeroed inbox at the end of every workday keeps me sane. I plan trips well in advance, so there is something to look forward to, and have recently learned there is nothing more energizing than a three-day weekend trip!
I’m a firm believer that with the proper training, anyone can do anything. When hiring, I look for someone outgoing, who asks questions, and is not afraid to ask for help. When I first started working as a hostess at O Ya Boston in 2009, Nancy Cushman taught me how to smile with my eyes (smize) when speaking with guests, and how to smile with my voice on the phone. I always look for a smize in new hires.
The most important skill to possess is timeliness with responses; respond to all inquiries within a few hours, not days. The lost art of sending thank you notes and following up is also a key to success when it comes to events.
I couldn't do this job without our event planning software, TripleSeat.
I read it all! I have an extensive cookbook and food magazine collection, with probably over 150 issues of Gourmet magazine at my parents’ house. I’m a big Alison Roman fangirl and buy her book frequently as a gift for friends that are not well-versed in the kitchen. Peter Callanah’s Bite by Bite was the first event-related book I purchased; I love his tiny food!
When hiring, always surround yourself with people who challenge you and who excel in the areas you might not be the strongest.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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