Ruksana didn’t come from a particularly hard background, she always had the love and support from her family but was not necessarily able to offer guidance and clear direction on her future career path. Evidently a smart young lady, Ruksana finished secondary school with 10 GCSEs A-Cs, and 2 BTEC qualifications in Business and Critical Thinking. She then went on to study for her A Levels at Sixth Form, but it turned out after 3 months she felt this wasn’t the right path for her. On further and deep reflection, and recognising there were perhaps more appropriate learning environments for her, Ruksana decided to end her studies. She had spoken to her family, as well as her careers advisor at school, who referred her to a training centre where they would help and support in what the best next steps would be for her.
After completing a traineeship and work experience at Karin Housing for two months, Ruksana found an apprenticeship for a Business Administration Level 2 course at Metropolitan Housing Association. Ruksana was then kept on for a further six months after completing the one year course, however unfortunately, the entire team was made redundant due to business constraints. This knocked Ruksana’s confidence hugely. She felt that because she was still young, and had very little experience finding something else would be difficult. When applying for jobs, she found that employers were looking for people with more experience making it hard to get to the interview stage, or even a response. Ruksana felt demotivated and her confidence was still extremely low.
Without a job or being in education, Ruksana had no choice but to register at the Job Centre. Around three weeks later, she was then introduced to the Prince’s Trust – Get into Hospitality programme.
Working within the Hospitality sector wasn’t something Ruksana had ever considered before, and so when presented with the programme, she embraced the opportunity to learn something new. Despite being a clever young person, she was not getting the work opportunities to explore so the programme was enticing. During her first taster week at JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Ruksana valued the experience she gained in a 5* luxury hotel, however she knew operations was not the perfect place for her. Most of the initial work experience was ‘on the floor,’ whereas Ruksana wanted office/administration roles as she felt this better suited the direction she believed was right. It was difficult for her to share as she didn’t want to drop out of something for a second time.
Ruksana discussed her thoughts with her Prince’s Trust Mentor Yvonne Lawrence, and Jan Marshall at Marriott, who arranged at the last minute that she spend the remaining three weeks of the programme with the HR team St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. She did not expect this and was thrilled with the outcome. Ruksana knew she would not have had this chance anywhere else, and was very excited and grateful. During this time, she learnt about Marriott’s values, their recruitment system, shadowed interviews and assisted with HR processes. All were perfectly matched to her and she was inspired.
Before she finished her placement at St Pancras, she was offered a casual contract as their Human Resources Administrator. She was ecstatic and able to start working with longer term learnings and projects in mind. She assisted with compliance training and reporting, payroll and recruitment processes via a range of different systems. Ruksana began to own a number of projects, including associate recognition & wellbeing programmes, PT ambassador, associate appreciation week and organising food bank drops. Ruksana definitely grew in confidence massively every day.
Only two months after Ruksana had started at St Pancras, she had the opportunity to work directly with the General Manager, performing PA duties. Four months later Ruksana applied for, and was offered, a permanent Rooms Division Coordinator Role. This involved supporting the department heads in Housekeeping, Concierge, Guest Experience, Chambers, Spa and Front Office with their admin, finance and month end matters. This role is three days a week which allowed her to still work within the HR Department for the other 2 days. Ruksana started this role in September 2017 and in January 2018, she had another role change to a Human Resources Coordinator, position she currently holds.