Meet Cape Grace Hotel Front Desk Officer
In my second installment of profiling hotel front officers, today l’m chatting to Xolelwa Faith Magidigidi from Cape Grace Hotel, let’s find out more about her…
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview because Faith has provided detailed answers to my questions, which indicates tourism is in her blood and not just a job to pay the bills…added to that she went back to school while still working full time to get formal training in Hospitality Management.
What is your name and which hotel do you work for?
My name is Xolelwa Faith Magidigidi. Everyone calls me Faith and I work at the Cape Grace Hotel.
How did you get into your current position at Cape Grace Hotel?
I was promoted from Concierge to Front Office Supervisor.
What were you doing before your current position?
I’ve been with Cape Grace for the past 4 years. Initially I was employed as Cashier; after which I was promoted to Guest Liaison. Recently I have been awarded another promotion to fulfil the position of Front Office Supervisor.
What do you like about working for Cape Grace Hotel?
I get to work with people from diverse backgrounds and I often learn about (and get the opportunity to experience) new things. The environment at Cape Grace is friendly, warm and we are all part of a big 5 star family. The hours are demanding but working with such a great team makes it all easier.
What challenges are part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is to ensure that our guests are happy and their expectations are not only met, but exceeded – at all times. Whilst doing this, I also need to be the bridge between our staff and management, ensuring that the business goals are carried out successfully.
What is your long term goal with your career?
My long term goal is to be an ambassador for South African Tourism. I feel that South Africa has a lot to offer and there are so many parts of our country that are “hidden gems” yet to be discovered and explored; especially in the Eastern Cape (Where I am originally from). Hospitality is one of the largest industries globally. We have the opportunity to create more jobs, as we are one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and business travel destinations. I would love to be in a position where I am an integral part of this growth.
What milestones have you achieved since being part of the hotel front office team?
Three (3) years ago I decided to go back to school. I enrolled at the Cape Town Hotel School to study Hospitality Management. If all goes according to plan, I will be completing my final year at the end of 2013. This would not have been possible without the support of my Managers and colleagues as I sometimes have to attend classes and they are very accommodating with my shifts.
How do you handle rude guests?
Keep calm and don’t take it personally! If I am called to a situation where a guest is upset, I will always acknowledge the problem and then get to the bottom of it; for it to be resolved in a manner which is pleasant, effective and efficient. Why is he unhappy, what has happened and how quickly am I going to resolve it. My goal in a such a situation would always be to turn it around – in any way that would be mutually beneficial to our guests and to the hotel. After all a happy guest is a returning guest!
What is your educational background?
I matriculated at Excelsior Comprehensive High School in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. I studied at Border Technikon (now known as Walter Sisulu University of Technology) for 2 years towards a Diploma in Marketing. I did not complete my 3rd year as I decided to travel to the UK. I am currently a 3rd year student at CPUT in the Hospitality Management Block Release Programme.