Life comes full circle – Ms. Bianca DeSouza

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Life comes full circle – Ms. Bianca DeSouza

My association with Bianca goes back to more than 24 years, we have been batch mates at IHM Mumbai and then Batch mates at the Taj Management Training Program, we worked as colleagues there for over 3 years. Then we got the offer from our alma mater to join onboard as faculty, we both deliberated over that, she decided to move to Australia for higher studies and then ultimately settle there and I chose to take the offer and get into teaching, learning and development. We moved organizations and job profiles but have been in touch all through. What I have seen about Bianca is her affable nature and very pleasant personality.

She connects with all at equal levels, making friends and associations wherever she goes. She is a role model to many, a thorough professional, a doting wife and a loving mother to her two children. She is a great leader who motivates her teams to give their very best- Always! She works with many nationalities but manages her work and teams very well. She is a training school in herself, her extremely supporting husband Andre and two children complete her world. I thought it would be great to hear her inspiring story and she obliged. Here’s Bianca’s story.

Having grown up in Dahanu, India , as a little girl I was always fascinated by hotels whenever we visited Bombay and I think I was 10 or 11 when mum and dad took us to Gateway of India. That’s when I saw the Taj Mahal Hotel and said to myself “one day I could work here.”

Back then it was only a dream….

At the age of 7, I left for boarding school in Panchgani and spent 8 years in this beautiful hill station and completed year 10. Then moved on to Mumbai and as most parents always push their kids to do science as “it has more scope” I ended up at Sophia college doing Science but never really enjoyed it.

That’s when I started exploring the possibility of studying hotel management and applied to the Institute of hotel management and catering technology. Was fortunate enough to get into the “Dadar catering college” as it was fondly called and since then there has been no looking back.

Those 3 wonderful years were when I not only met the wonderful founder of IWH and my friend Laxmi, but also lo and behold my now husband! My stint in Mumbai only lasted 8 years during which I completed my diploma in hotel management, worked at my dream hotel Taj Mumbai in various capacities and also completed my degree in Arts.

However, I still felt the need to do more so left for Perth, Australia in 2001 and completed my MBA in hospitality management and started tutoring at Edith Cowan University whilst looking for my ideal job. Within 3 months of completing my MBA I landed myself a role as Duty manager at the iconic Esplanade hotel in Fremantle. Putting theory to practice was fun and I loved meeting all kinds of people. I still continued teaching at university for another year until the time came for me to make my next big step- this time when my General Manager approached me and requested I manage the Housekeeping department. I clearly remember calling my brother who was then in Burj, Dubai and saying to him “wow that’s the only department I haven’t worked in” and he said “just do it, it will look good on your CV that you’ve then worked in all operational departments”. So, I took my younger brothers advice and am so glad I did.

Fourteen years later, I’ve been privileged to work with people from over 16 different cultures, build a team I’m proud of and with their support achieved 2 manager of the year awards, was nominated and won Australian housekeeper of the year at the Australian hotels association in 2010 and more recently won manager as well as team of the year in the same year which was so humbling.

I’ve always taken my team as my 2nd family and get this rush when I can keep them motivated to do the best they can. We enjoy bed making competitions, Christmas’s in July, team events, and treasure hunts, celebrate milestone birthdays at work and of course we work hard too! But I live true to my belief of work hard, party harder!!

Being an executive housekeeper and recruiter of my own staff is something I thoroughly enjoy. It’s a joy to see young hospitality professionals flourish. I am always respectful of the fact that hospitality is sometimes a thankless industry as we are always working when others are celebrating and so try to make the work environment lighter and have some fun.

It’s also a joy to be part of this venture IWH,  and so to all you hard working men and women in hospitality, I say… you go people!!!

Her message to the young professionals:

She says, ” Never give up as hard and as tempting it may be sometimes to try an easier option… Perseverance is the key! Follow your dreams as dreams do come true.”

Laxmi Todiwan
Laxmi Todiwan
Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. A hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development is close to her heart. She writes for hospitality journals, international websites and columns in the local newspapers. Married to a Master Mariner she loves to write on the maritime industry as well as the lives and relationships of the fraternity. She expresses her thoughts on her blog and website, www.theiwh.com

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