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18 Sep 2018

For Maritim Hotels & Former Apprentice Paula Osiander it’s All About Human Connection & Homelike Hospitality

Paula Osiander, Assistant to the International Sales Director based in London was born to be in the hospitality business... literally.

She grew up in her father's restaurant outside Inglostadt (the home of Audi and future home of a new Maritim Hotel) and learned from an early age the critical role that homelike customer service plays in guests feeling welcomed and returning again and again.

So it's not surprising that in 2014 she found her way into the award winning Maritim Apprenticeship Program, that creates a strong community of next generation hospitality pros. The extensive, 3 year training majors in developing skills across all areas of the hotel, and also immerses participants in Maritim's hospitality culture of creating comfortable, friendly experiences that make guests feel at home.

For Paula, the program brought her to the Maritim Ulm Hotel and Congress Center, in southern Germany – essentially mid-way between Stuttgart and Munich – on the beautiful banks of the Danube River.

Here Paula was able to receive intensive, hands-on instruction in all key areas like banqueting, reception, bar keeping, housekeeping and more – combined with external professional education as well.

While working in each area of the hotel was valuable and expanded her knowledge and skills, she really found her groove in the congress and meetings part of the business.

Having successfully completed the program she is now part of Maritim's Sales team in London where she works closely with management on things like RFP's and roadshows. She also enjoys connecting with clients from the Indian, Japanese and Brazilian markets to help with Corporate or Conference and Meeting as well as Leisure bookings.

To get a feel for what it's like being an up-and-comer in the hospitality world with Maritim Hotels we spoke with her recently.

Here's what she had to say.

Paula, what's your hospitality philosophy given your family business and your training and work with Maritim so far?

Paula: I'm in sync with my family's and Maritim's belief that hospitality is all about making our guests feel at home, welcomed and cared for. It's very much focused on the human connection and experience. Whether guests are with us for leisure or business at the Maritim – when you give them a warm, genuine smile and they return that, or when you solve a problem and the client brings you flowers because you helped make their event a success, to me... that's where true hospitality comes in.

With tech being everywhere do you think the role of the human touch is being reduced or replaced?

Paula: I certainly hope not. I think technology can and should play a role in helping our guests travel more easily and conveniently, but I think that technology and the hotel experience needs to be surrounded by a strong team of people. I don't think a screen will ever be truly better than a person.

Paula Osiander

What was one of your favorite experiences in Maritim's training program?

Paula: I have a couple actually. The annual staff Christmas party where trainees were in charge of pulling everything together for the event was a really fun way to bond and learn. There was also a complimentary parent's weekend where we did everything for their visit from creating the menus, choosing rooms and welcoming everyone during check-in... to setting a proper dining table for a private dinner show, and developing and shaking specialty cocktails just for them. We were really proud to show off all we could and they were proud and happy to see us in action and meet our colleagues and managers. We also got to take one trip a year to a different Maritim property and do things like visit a local vineyard and discuss incorporating wines into a menu. Finally there's an Apprentice Cup competition that I was lucky enough to win one year where your parents and siblings are there for the awards. It was really exciting and special.

What does this program mean to you now as a professional?

Paula: The Maritim does a really great job of helping you grow as a person and as a professional and to celebrate that growth in a special community of friends and colleagues. The spirit of this and those learnings continues to help me in my work now as I serve my clients and work as a full Maritim team member.

For more information on meeting with the warm hospitality at Maritim Hotels visit: www.maritim.com/en/meetings-and-events