In DeSouza Associates

We say we are an experienced team but you may not know the experience each team member has in the industry. Lida, Catherine & Kate have written a short blog about their work experience and how they ended up working in events and being at DeSouza Associates.

First up Catherine…..

I have always had a love for the hospitality & hotel industry starting from a very young age.

I was extremely lucky, as a child, to have travelled across Europe for a number of holidays experiencing such countries as France, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. With family members not wanting to fly we took the car for all our trips so got to see and experience more remote and less tourist regions of the countries we visited. We also spent many a UK holiday driving across the length & breadth of the country visiting major towns and cities along the way.

My parents accommodation preference was always a hotel, thus my passion began!

Finishing school, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and immersed myself completely into a 3 year Higher National Diploma in Hotel, Catering & Management. I loved my time at college where we had plenty of on the job work experience including hospitality at large sporting events, for example, Twickenham & Ascot, hosting and silver service at the Farnborough Air Show and working at various, different hotels and restaurants to gain knowledge and experience in all departments.

My first full-time, permanent role, entailed working within a residential conference venue setting learning the ropes and shadowing the management team in all the departments. I have fond memories of my time at Horsley Management Centre, now part of the DeVere group, where I learnt so much about events and the general day-to-day running of a conference venue.

After having a short gap from the industry, I realised that hospitality was in my blood and I had to return back to the industry! This is when I joined an established and growing venue finding agency as an Events Co-ordinator and quickly made my way up to a senior member of the team. I was involved in venue finding for a variety of Blue Chip companies whose requirements were both for the UK & overseas.

It was an extremely busy and fast-paced environment and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.  This is where I also met Kate McSweeny and who I can thank for my role now at DeSouza Associates!

Using all the skills and knowledge I have accumulated over the years, I enjoy getting to understand and know our clients’ requirements to then provide bespoke proposals with perfect solutions for their corporate events.

Where possible, I attend industry events, go on-site inspections and visit clients to assist in providing the best service I can. These amazing opportunities I never take for granted!

I have now been working in the hospitality industry for over 25 years and still have a desire to learn. With the hotel industry ever-changing and evolving, especially in current times, I am always looking out for and discovering new venues along with exciting corporate event ideas for our clients’ forthcoming events.

The ways of communicating and delivering information to our clients has changed so much over the years, from fax and phone, to social media and online platforms however, the end goal remains the same: ‘To provide a personal and high standard of service, learn from and listen to our clients’ on each individual event requirement and to exceed their expectations.”

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