Meet Lenka Horakova, Short Course Alumni 

From the Czech Republic to Hilton Americas Catering

Lenka made an interesting journey into the hospitality industry. From growing up in a small village in the Czech Republic where she knew nothing of the business, to a degree in Tourism Management in Aberdeen Scotland, to Hilton front desk supervisor Hilton Aberdeen Treetops to Catering Manager, Hilton Americas.

“If you asked me 25 years ago, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Hospitality professional would’ve not have been the answer!

But it’s been a wonderful 6 years so far with an exciting future ahead!”

What are your name and job title?

Lenka Horakova, CMP – Catering Manager at Hilton Americas

How long have you been with this brand or company?

6 years with Hilton, 3 years at Hilton Americas

What was your first hotel industry job?

Front Office Supervisor at Hilton Aberdeen Treetops in Scotland

What is your hometown? 

Rozsochatec – a tiny village in the Czech Republic with a whopping population of 519!

What would you say are hotel must-haves? 

Team members who genuinely care about guest’s satisfaction! I believe that passion for what you do and sincere interest in someone’s happiness can go much further than luxuries and material things. It is also crucial that the hotel delivers on its brand’s promise.

What is the best advice/motto you go by?

There have been few that I go by and remind myself of every day! 1. FAIL = First attempt in learning. 2. Everything happens for a reason. 3.Positive thinking brings positive things.

Who invested in you attending Short Course? 

Director of Catering, Matthew Finnan played a tremendous role in my development here at Hilton Americas. I first started as his Catering Assistant and quickly progressed to my current role. He saw the potential in me and gave me the support and encouragement needed to take me to the next level.

What inspires you?

Seeing my colleagues successfully turn difficult clients around and overcome challenges.

How has attending Short Course influenced your job?

Short Course definitely gave me a better insight into other departments in the industry that I was not so familiar with. It helped me understand the bigger picture. It has also definitely enhanced my networking skills!

What was your most memorable moment at Short Course? 

I very much enjoyed all the speakers and topics that the course covered; Cindy Novotny stuck in my mind the most– she filled me with brand new energy and desire to do better and go further.

What advice do you have for those who are in our industry?

Celebrate the small successes! I know that dealing with guests and clients on a daily basis can be emotionally difficult, especially if you sincerely care. Don’t let difficult guests bring you down, challenge yourself to turn them into happy, returning guests!

Why would you recommend others to attend Short Course? 

It’s a unique and wonderful opportunity to pump yourself up with true hospitality spirit, meet many interesting people from the industry, and gain invaluable knowledge.

What’s next?

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in August, so right now the attention is on preparing for our new arrival! But, I definitely want to grow my career in Catering and Sales further once I return from maternity leave. The goal is to become a Senior Catering Manager at a big box hotel within the next 2 years.

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