Q: Who are you?
The people, who know me, will tell you I am simply Jerca. I am 26 years old and I breathe tourism since I can remember. I always have and will work in the hospitality industry at home and abroad. I have been studying tourism for the past 12 years and this year I will gain my master’s degree. The past few years, I worked at the Brdo estate in different fields of the company from laundry, housekeeping, guided tours, reception and finally marketing. Now I manage castle Strmol.
I am very sociable and love meeting new people and in general being surrounded with people. I am a keen traveller and every once and then the travel bug bites me and I have to go and discover new horizons.
Q: What is your favourite meetings brand?
Marriott Brands, part of which is also the Ritz. Getting to know the way they operate inspires me. I like their attitude towards the company, guests and employees. They have great values which are reflected in the meeting brand itself as well as in all the other aspects of the company. Values are important – they become your destiny.
Q: What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
I found a job in Ireland. Left everything for 4 months and just went someplace unknown at the time. I worked in a hostel, which was managed by Brent Bishop. He was American. He taught me a lot of skills needed for managing a hostel. Now as I manage castle Strmol I always remember all the lesions and past events. The gained experiences help me a lot with my everyday work. But a part from that, being thrown in a new, unknown enviroment forces you to connect to yourself more and find out what you really want to do in your life. I met so many inspiring people, some of them guests of the hostel and we still keep in touch. These few months changed me, definitely. It was brave. And guess what? I am visiting my mentor and ex-boss next month in America.
Q: What’s your alternative career fantasy?
Hmmm … that’s a tough one. I am happy I choose the road of tourism as it is just the perfect career for me. But if I was to do something else, it would probably be law. Don’t get me wrong, I would still do tourism with it – just for fun!
Q: What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Castle Strmol. I am in love with this castle. It’s a great challenge for me, it has a beautiful story and I have the best of both words. I can work in the fields of accommodation, organise weddings, MICE gatherings and different kinds of social events. I am looking forward to see how castle Strmol develops in the future. Not a day goes by, that I wouldn’t put on my uniform with pride. From Monday to Sunday, hospitality management is my life.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
Emotions. Working with people gives me energy. A little extra effort, giving a bit more that is expected can light up a guests stay. When they are happy and satisfied with the experience and give you a sincere »thank you« and » have a nice day «. At the end of the day emotions are the reason why we love doing something the way we do. They fill a special place in each and every one of us that makes us crave for more.
Q: What would make your job easier?
Speaking all the languages and a longer day. If I can be picky, even teleportation ability. So much plans, ideas and places to be, but so little time.
Q: What was your best idea last year?
Before, working at the Brdo estate my co-workers and I created all the ideas together. All of them interesting and special in its own ways. Now that I am managing the Strmol castle I am in the process of preparing many interesting events for 2015. My imagination is really having fun with the ideas. Ask me in a year and I will tell you which one of them made it to the top.
Q: The most memorable event for you?
All of them. I remember every guest and every event. Big or small, they are all important to me. It is interesting to see world- know leaders and participate with the protocol organisation, but for me a family with children staying in the castle is just as important. A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely un-happen. And I collect those kind of memories. Hospitality management for me– it’s a lifestyle really.