Women’s Month Interview #3 – Women of AHA – Ada Terea
How was your career experience in this industry?
My career in hospitality education started with me training colleagues in the Front Office department for a Hyatt hotel in the US. I always say that hospitality is addictive: if you like working with customers, making memories for them and you are good at that, you are passionate about what you do, you will keep that in your heart and in your actions forever.
So, although I decided to build a career in education, I carried that hospitality attitude with me everywhere I went. I believe hospitality as well as education is about caring for people, so I feel fortunate that I have experienced both and took the best from both industries.
What is your biggest achievement?
In 2007 when American Hotel Academy was created, I was fortunate enough to be part of the opening team and work alongside amazing people with a clear vision. We had 7 students back then, and now, 12 years later, American Hotel Academy has touched the lives of more than 400 graduates of two higher education programmes, and more than 350 students at a time in the academy. We have opened two new academies and looking ahead for more exciting projects. Every day I feel humbled by the impact I see we make in each of our students’ lives. The satisfaction is enormous but so is the responsibility.
As a team, we have grown tremendously, I have grown and developed tremendously. We have come a long way and I’d like to think that it was also due to my passion and my commitment for this.
What skills should women develop or work on before they enter the industry?
Research indicates that soft skills are more important than hard skills, especially when occupying a managerial position, which is an advantage for us, women. As I said before, hospitality is about providing exceptional service with a positive attitude, it is about performing in front of an audience and not everyone is suited for that.
Luckily, women, through their caring attitude, passion for beauty, ability to balance situations and to multitask, are prone to have successful careers in hospitality. They should develop those abilities and the confidence to act having those assets in mind.
What’s your advice for women who want to start a career in this industry?
It is said that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I always believed that it is up to each of us to be exceptional. You can choose your attitude and how you respond to anything that happens around you. This is how you shape your beliefs and desires, how you control your reality. Being focused, having a goal and pursuing it, turning setbacks into opportunities, will put you on the path to success.