Aoife Lohse, Sales and Marketing Manager, Kinsale Hotel and Spa
Name and position: Aoife Lohse, Sales and Marketing Manager, Kinsale Hotel and Spa
Family: It means everything to me.
Pets: Cleopatra, a pure-bred Burmilla cat (she’s my baby)
Favourite thing about Cork: The people, history and culture
Least favourite thing about Cork: The weather
One thing you’d change about Cork: Nothing! (The weather)
When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?
I wanted to be a singer, then I wanted to be a barrister. I decided then that I did not want to have my head stuck in books for seven years, and got thinking about what I wanted to do. I have always been in the hospitality sector, so I decided to move up the ladder you need a piece of paper, and that’s what I got… Well, four of them actually. In 2008 I went to Cork Institute of Technology, not fully sure on what I wanted to be, so I did a two-year diploma in tourism and hospitality studies, which gave me an insight into all departments of a hotel.
Tell us about your career progression to your role today:
I have worked in all departments of a hotel, from kitchen porter to reception to accounts to leisure centre. At 16 years old I started at the bottom and worked my way up, working and putting myself through college, which I feel has given me an understanding and appreciation for all roles.
I won best student of the year in CIT in 2010. This got me into my bachelor’s degree in business and hospitality management, then my honours degree, all while working in various departments in hotels such as the River Lee Hotel, Maritime Hotel and Emmett Hotel. I then decided to branch out and look at other topics, so I decided on a PR and new media masters while working full time in Fota Island Resort, and still got my distinction thesis. During this time, I also had the opportunity to assist in the opening of the new Kingsley Hotel, training their staff and standing in as an example of the Fota Collection standards.
After graduating with my masters, which is still my proudest academic achievement, I found the role of Sales and Marketing Executive in the Ambassador Hotel. This was a great project for me in finding no cost and low-cost methods to re-launch a hotel. I started as sales executive and was promoted to sales and marketing executive within six months. By year two I was senior sales and marketing manager and a representative for the McGettigan Hotel Group. My main responsibility was in developing local, national and international business for the numerous market segmentations of the entire resort. I then went into centralised reservations at Hayfield Family Collection (Hayfield Manor, Great Southern Hotel Killarney and the Killarney Royal Hotel), where my main focus was meeting and exceeding monthly targets for bedroom reservations and dining for the three hotel properties. This is where I was headhunted for the role of Sales and Marketing Manager at Kinsale Hotel and Spa, and let’s say the rest is yet to come!
What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?
Interacting with my clients both existing and potential, as well as the teams I work with. Also, being able to show off the wonderful hotel product first-hand. I love a project, and a re-launch/re-brand is the ultimate project.
What motivates you?
Results - I am completely results-driven. I love to see when my hard work pays off and the fruits of hard work return.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
Enjoy being 15, stop rushing to be grown up. Adulthood is not all fun and games and there is a lot of work and responsibility. Live in the moment.
If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?
Public relations job-wise, I have always thought about going into business for myself, and if I won the lottery I would be travelling the world!
What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?
Education-wise, getting my distinction thesis while working full time during the Irish Open in Fota. Then career-wise, all that I did with the Ambassador Hotel in its successful relaunch. And let’s not forget to mention all that is yet to come with Kinsale Hotel and Spa!
Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?
My gran and my mum, the two strongest ladies I have ever met. My gran was a paramedic in the London ambulance service for 25 years, getting multiple long service awards. She sailed the Cutty Sark during the tall ships race in 1991, took on and completed the Arctic Circle Expedition Lapland Challenge in 1998, as well as being an Irish Girl Guide leader. I would like to say I get my hard work ethic from the strong ladies in my family, but my gran as well as my mum are most definitely the pillars to my resolute personality. As well as being hard-working, they have always ensured I stay humble and true.
What is the life dream now?
Working hard and rewarding myself with travel. I love to travel so I always have something planned every few months to keep me motivated and driven.
How do you switch off?
Gym and swim! Oh and don’t forget a nice spa day. We have fantastic facilities in Kinsale Hotel and Spa.
What is your favourite Cork memory?
Oh there are so many! Probably the festivals - as a child, my mum would always make sure we were at all the fun festivals. On that note, when we moved back to Ireland it was Saint Patrick’s day and I thought it was some big party for us coming home!
What is your favourite place in Cork?
Again, so many beautiful places. I love West Cork - there are so many beautiful gems to be found. Glengarriff is one of my favourite places in the world, but Owenahincha is also a fave, with Rathbarry Woods and so many beaches to explore. Of course, you cannot forget the colourful town of Kinsale, where you can find the best food in Cork. In central Cork though I would have to say the Lee Fields is where I put on a pair of headphones and just walk and walk and walk.
Do you have a favourite quote or motto?
‘Carpe diem’ - Live life to the fullest and make the most of every moment. Life is about making memories and experiencing all that the world has to offer.
When are you at your happiest?
Travelling the world with my partner. We are childhood sweethearts and this year marked our 14th anniversary. I love being back home with my mum and brothers, and snuggling with my little cat Cleo.
Sacrificing time with family for my education and career.
What is your hidden talent?
What might we be surprised to know about you?
Nope, I’m an open book. What you see is what you get.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I think that’s all for now folks!