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Marco Schmidt

Learning & Development Specialist, Food & Beverage - InterContinental Dubai Festival City & Crowne Plaza

What is your IHG career journey?

I have worked for IHG for 10 years. From the very beginning, I really admired everyone’s hands-on approach in the hotel. Everybody, no matter their role, always put the guest first - whether it was the Food & Beverage Director polishing Champagne glasses on New Year’s Eve, or the Hotel Manager clearing trays during a busy breakfast or the Director of HR vacuuming the floor during a Christmas party after a glass breakage. Everybody truly works as a team here.

“Since joining IHG, I have worked in four roles, in four different countries, on three different continents. I’m looking forward to seeing where my career here takes me next!””

What do you like about working at IHG?

The Winning culture here is very strong and in such a large and international organisation that never ceases to amaze me. Also, I love how when you work for IHG you quickly build a network of colleagues from all over the world who share similar goals and ambitions as you. I am not sure I would find that working anywhere else.  

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I'm very passionate about all things Food & Beverage. After work, I enjoy going to restaurants and bars where I can enjoy a good meal, along with a glass of wine or a cocktail.  Networking with competitors and colleagues after work hours definitely plays an important role in my working life. It makes sure that we stay on track with current and upcoming Food & Beverage trends, as well as giving me a chance to unwind after a busy day in operations.

What does ‘Room to be Yourself’ mean to you?

I can honestly say that the different interests of colleagues not only get respected, but also put to use in guest interactions, particularly at InterContinental where we try to create memorable experiences for the guest. A colleague who shares an interest with a customer can connect with them on another level. 

What do you like about the team you work with?

I work in a team of over 70 nationalities with over 1,400 colleagues in 4 properties. What I like most is the cultural diversity we face and the chances of learning new things, on and off duty. May it be languages, customs or authentic ethnic foods prepared by your colleagues for you. It’s also interesting to see how different cultures approach daily tasks. If you grew up in only one culture, there is a lot to learn from the way others do business.