Name: Laura Wilkinson
Title: Resort Reservations Assistant Manager
Facility and location: The Grove – London, Hertfordshire, England
Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? (Please explain if there was a story around that.)
A: I always wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger (other than a brief summer when I was 13 when I got the idea I wanted to be a film director!)
Q: Tell us about the career path that has led you to your current role at The Grove.
A: I went to University and studied Law as my undergrad; got half way through year two and decided it wasn’t like the movies and legal jargon was not for me! However I was involved in the Law Society and helped with organizing numerous events and thought it was something I could pursue as an alternative. Long story short I applied for a catering position in a small hotel as a way into the industry and have been working in family run hotels since in F&B, Reception and Reservations.
Q: What is your favourite part of The Grove?
A: My team – they’re more like family than colleagues and they truly make it worthwhile coming to work every day.
Q: Was there a female mentor that helped guide you along your current path and was there a piece of advice that helped you along your way?
A: Sue Crowley, General Manager of the Woburn Hotel was a great inspiration a while ago and now I’m surrounded by so many females in leading roles, it’s a real selling point of The Grove.
Q: What do you do in your daily job or life to inspire other women in their careers?
A: Personally I don’t feel you can be inspiring if you’re trying to be, so I what I do in my daily work life and how I act aren’t ruled by this motivation. However, I try and lead by example in the hopes that my hard work and dedication inspire those around me to put their all into their work as well. I’ve been told that I tell it how it is (not entirely sure that’s a good thing) and I try and ensure everything is fair for everyone in my team. I like to ensure that everyone gets the recognition they deserve; we work in a department that often gets overlooked because most of what we do is behind the scenes, but it doesn’t detract from the vital part they play in the wider operations of everyone’s stay at The Grove.
From a personal perspective as well as working full time I am a single mum (arguably a full-time job in itself), so I hope that inspires the younger members of our team that if you put your mind to it you can actually have the best of both worlds – a successful career and wonderful home life.
Q: Do you play golf? If so what is your dream foursome for golf (you and three others)?
A: Despite working at The Grove for six years I haven’t taken golf up. Although I was gifted a set of mini-clubs for my daughter so maybe they’ll be a golfer in the family soon (will probably wait for a little while until her aim isn’t likely to crack shins!)
Q: What is one interesting fact not many people know about you (that you don’t mind sharing)?
A: I’m a Disney fanatic. I have been to Disney World Orlando six times and we’re already planning a trip in 2027. What can I say, I’m a planner!