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04/03/2023 IHG Careers Team

How It Started & How It's Going - Zafir

At IHG our colleagues are our main priority. Whatever their background, we offer them plenty of opportunity to flourish and progress within the company, and ultimately provide them a workplace where they are as happy as ever. On that note, we’d like to introduce everybody to Zafir.


Zafir moved to the UK from Oman to study and joined the Kimpton Clocktower Manchester family after graduating. Since, he has climbed the ranks from team member to team leader. Read our interview with Zafir below to learn more about the support we provide our staff, progression in the business, and his dislike of early starts!

Q: You started as a team member - now you’re managing 25-30 people. What’s next for you at IHG and how do they support you? 

A: Since I’m not a British national, I came to this country and this was my first job here - it was really hard for me when I started but the people here helped me grow and become a team leader. I see myself at IHG and in hospitality for a long time. If I go back home I’d like to transfer to another IHG hotel, and they’ve kept options open to me to eventually transfer if I need to (I have visa restrictions). They’re always letting us know about opportunities to progress!

Q: Nice! What were you studying as an international student?

A: Computer science.



Q: Wow! Are you still studying? 

A: I’ve graduated - I actually started this job as a part time job whilst looking for jobs in my field, but when I started this job I just felt like this is the thing for me. I didn’t feel interested in computer science anymore. I feel like hospitality, doing what I do now, is what I love. So, I became a full time member. 

Q: Nice! Everyone seems to have a story where they just fall in love with the role. Where is home for you?

A: I’m from Oman!

Q: Cool, and you mentioned having Visa restrictions. Do you mind explaining these?

A: I have a countdown until July, but my manager is looking to get me a Visa sponsorship over here, because I love it here and they love me!

Q: Okay, how does that process work and how are IHG helping you through that?


A: HR are going to check if they have all the requirements to do the sponsorship, and then eventually they’ll need a Visa pass from the government. Once they have that they can sponsor.

Q: That’s cool, it’s great how many people fall in love with hospitality and steer away from their original fields. How’s the work/life balance? 

A: The managers are really flexible with the shifts. Usually I can pick - if I want some days off they’ll be more than happy to give me them, unless there’s really big events. If you can find someone to cover you it’s okay. Some days if I want shorter shifts they’re okay with it, I can come in later on. I prefer not to do early mornings like 7ams / 8ams - they’re more than happy to let me start at 10am if they need me. They’re really flexible here. But obviously if there’s big events and they need me, I’m more than happy to come in early! 

Q: That’s great - early starts can be a pain! To finish, there seems to be a nice energy around the hotel and the staff. Would you say you thrive working in an environment where you bounce off people? 

A: The best thing about this place is the people. Everyone here is really nice and lovely. That’s what brings people here and that’s what makes people want to come back for events. 

Thanks Zafir!

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