A smile goes a long way for Jill Jiao from W Beijing – Chang’An, who talks about how her grandfather has inspired her and why it would be nice if more guests would reciprocate friendliness.
1. How long have you been in the industry?
I joined the team at W Beijing Chang’an in December 2014 but prior to this I ran my own events company which worked closely with 5 star hotels. I’ve always been inspired by service culture and have an eye for detail which is expected in the hospitality industry.
2. Describe one of your amazing travel experiences
I’ve just come back from a long vacation travelling around Europe. It was a thrilling experience – I made loose plans before I left but on the whole I decided on the next destination when I was on the road.
I met up with lots of friends scattered over ten different cities. I get to see so much more of the world on these types of trips.
3. Tell us about the weirdest job you’ve ever had.
Oh a modelling job, years ago.
4. What was the first country you ever travelled to?
Born and raised in Beijing the first country I ever visited was Singapore. I loved it. It’s modern, convenient, and easy to explore.
5. What destinations are on your bucket list?
South Africa, Brazil, Australia and Dubai.
6. How has working in travel changed you?
I was born to work in the hospitality industry as I love making people happy but it’s definitely taught me to be more flexible, efficient and compassionate.
7. Who was your biggest mentor growing up?
My grandfather on my mother’s side. He was a general in the military for half a decade and taught me how important it is to be an honest and decent individual, and to appreciate nature and art.
8. What is your biggest life achievement to-date?
Running my own business for over five years with a partner was a huge challenge for me.
I took time to learn from the mistakes we made, which helped make my move into the hospitality industry as smooth as possible.
9. One thing you think hotel guests are doing wrong?
It would be great if guests could respond more to staff; just a simple ‘hello’ or a smile.
10. What’s the weirdest thing a guest has ever requested?
In my role as W Insider for W Beijing-Chang’an it’s my responsibility to provide guests with insider access to Beijing’s newest bars, events, parties, art galleries; whatever they want, whenever they want it.
So I’ve had a few strange requests. The strangest was for a ‘strong sleeping potion with no taste or smell’ we didn’t help this guest out.
11. Number one tip for industry newbies.
Put yourself in your guests’ shoes.
Have a question for Jill? Leave it below and we’ll get you the answer.
Getting to Know You is our good will gesture to promote the TIME program. The TIME program is focused on a Mentor/Mentee relationship that is ‘mentee-driven’. Mentors are drawn from the senior ranks of the industry and have generously volunteered their time and energy to the mentor process. They are matched to Mentees on the basis of non-conflicting business skills and experience that enables them to offer advice and perspective to the Mentee. The role of the Mentor is to hold their Mentee accountable and to offer challenging ideas that will inspire the Mentee, helping to building the individuals self confidence through praise, encouragement and constructive feedback.
If you are interested in joining TIME as a mentor or mentee visit their website
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