Internal promotions at The Queen Victoria Hotel
When The Queen Victoria Hotel, one of Newmark’s flagship 5 star properties in Cape Town, announced the internal promotion of Christopher Johnson and Moegamat Igshaan van Eerden, we wanted to find out more about these promising young team members.
In 2021 when Christopher Johnson arrived at The Queen Victoria Hotel for an interview for the position of Porter, his eagerness and ambition was clearly apparent.
“I looked our GM in the eye during the interview and told him that I was going to get this job and do well in it. Before long I’d be behind the front desk welcoming his guests in reception,” says Christopher.
“Whenever I’d had spare time between porter duties you would find me in reception. I’d watch the Guest Relations Officer as often as I could, soaking up whatever I could learn from them,” he added.
Seven months later Christopher realised his dream when he was promoted to Guest Relations Officer.
Less than 2 years later, on 1 September 2023, Christopher received a second promotion, this time to the role of Guest Relations Officer. A serious position with a lot of responsibility, Christopher now overseas a number of departments within the hotel and ensures that all team members uphold the hotel’s 5 star standards.
“I’m working hard to perfect my performance in this position. In time I hope I’ll be ready to move on to the next challenge,” says Christopher.
Christopher, who lives at home with his parents and two siblings, says that a big part of his success comes from the discipline that was instilled by living in a house with strict rules and boundaries. While Christopher’s ambition is firmly focused on developing a career within the hospitality industry, his choice of hobbies allows him to release his creative energy. Fashion is this young man’s passion. In his spare time, he designs clothing and is currently working on a range of casual wear suits.
What is Christopher’s advice to someone starting out in a new career?
“I always make sure that I go home relieved. I complete my tasks before I leave the hotel, knowing that I’ll be able to relax in the evening and start again fresh the next morning,” says Christopher.
Moegamat Igshaan van Eerden
Moegamaat joined Newmark 2 years ago as a Porter at The Winchester Hotel in Sea Point. He had his eye on a Guest Relations Officer position and when Newmark internally advertised an opening at The Queen Victoria Hotel, Moegamat applied and got the job.
“I was blown away by The Queen Victoria. I’ve worked in 4-star hotels, but this was on another level. I loved the décor and the sweeping staircase. It’s also one of the few hotels that I’ve been to that has a seated reception area. This allows the Guest Relations Officer to interact more personally with the guests while they relax in plush chairs during the check-in process,” says Moegamat.
Moegamat had also spent his time as a porter at The Winchester Hotel soaking up knowledge and working hard at crafting his career. “If you want to know something about a hotel, ask a porter. They are involved in everything behind the scenes and know the hotel better than most. Often guests didn’t initially realize that I was a porter as I spent so much time at front desk helping out and teaching myself the systems,” explains Moegamat.
“I’m grateful to my colleagues at The Winchester and in HR that believed in me. They encouraged me to apply for this position and reminded me that I had already developed the skill sets that I needed to work at the front office,” he adds.
Moegamat says that the last few weeks in his new role at The Queen Victoria have flown by, with the hours passing like minutes with everything that he’s learning.
“Hospitality chose me and I’m going to stick with it for my career. I hope that in time I’ll grow into new roles and that one day my career will allow me the opportunity of traveling overseas and seeing more of the world,” says Moegamat.
“My advice to anyone starting out in their career is to slow down. Take a breath and concentrate. You have the support around you that you need to do well in this role so take your time and do each task properly,” he concludes.