“Took the Job to Tide Me Over

Emma Jenkins's Inspirational Journey

Career Path: Waitress (parents café) > Receptionist > Trainee Management > Front of House Manager > Human Resources

“No matter where you come from, only you will limit where you can go"

My Story: During my early working life a key theme was the food and beverage business, whether it was working in my parent’s cafe or glass collecting, the Hospitality Industry was something I was drawn to. I enjoyed the team from the social side after work, the laughs we had during our shift and, dare I say, even the banter with the chefs could be fun!
When I left my home, I was offered a position as a Receptionist within a chain of conference centres.  I hadn’t really thought about the hotel industry and so just took the job to “tide me over” until I found something better.  That something better was the Trainee Manager programme, swiftly followed by my first management role as a Front of House Manager.  I was hungry to learn and keen to “take over the world”. I now work as HR Director, it is a great role that has given me the opportunity to combine my learning from all of my previous roles.  It is an opportunity to really add value to a business and really make a difference.  


 Funny Story: It was my first shift as a duty manager and there was a thunder storm, with lightening and torrential rain. I was in reception when I noticed a leak.  I called the General Manager who was staying in house who said to me “Emma, you are duty manager so you need to deal with this”.  So I thought OK I am duty manager, I can do this.  I thought I would try to find the source of the leak and it hadn’t dawned on me (!) that there was a floor above so I went upstairs on to the landing to find water coming in through the next roof so I opened the door to an office to find a lady running round with buckets as the ceiling was leaking everywhere and water was gushing through the electrical sockets.  I thought “Oh my God!! just as the plaster from the ceiling dropped on floor in front of me so I called the General manager again who when I told him about the ceiling collapse came rushing up.  We went up the next flight of stairs and there was a little doorway (a bit like Alice through the looking glass) and it led out onto the roof.  The roof was flat and was under about 2 foot of water.  Leaves had fallen on to the roof and blocked the down pipe.  The GM and I took our shoes and jackets off rolled up our trousers and stood outside in a storm clearing the leaves from the drain – we both got soaked through but managed to clear the drain.  Do you know a funny thing happened on my last DM shift before leaving the hotel the ceiling sprang a leak in reception, I shouted to the F&B manager to follow me as I sprinted up the stairs two at a time, kicking my shoes off and rolling my trousers up I went out on to the roof and the roof had flooded !!!





















Human Resource Director, Donnington Valley Hotel

“I love being part of this industry.  Where else can you eat in some of the best restaurants, stay in the best hotels and visit wonderful spas, all as part of your job."

Countries Worked:

The Fun Stuff:

“I love the Welsh Rugby Team, football (hubby has managed to change me from Man U to Chelsea) and recently been enjoying going to the races"

For a full biography of Emma Jenkins click here

Welcome Hello, you are not signed in

Sign In


Find more programmes


The Battlesteads named 2010 Great British Pub of the Year.
The Battlesteads in Wark-on-Tyne, Northumberland, has been named the 2010 Great British Pub of the Ye... read more


A Cheese Masterclass with Executive Chef of The Lanesborough
Cafe Spice Namaste
Paul Gayler is one of the finest of the new generation of British Executive Chefs leading the way wit... read more
Smiles of Britain - Festival Smile

Festival Smile

1 month ago
Views: 55
click here to find out more