An international spirit from the start
A native of Bonn, Germany, I’ve always had an international spirit. Having fallen in love with travel at a very young age, I knew from early on that my ideal lifestyle would be one that took me across the world. I also soon discovered a passion for the hospitality industry – while others spent their vacations visiting museums and landmarks, I toured hotels. Even now, I have a bucket list of about 100 hotels I want to experience at first hand. Putting all this together, it wasn’t long before I knew what my future career would be!
Love at first visit
Having grown up in Bonn, I had heard about the opening of the university campus in nearby Bad Honnef. On my first visit I immediately fell in love with the energy of the place and the way everything was set up – along with the fact that even at that early stage, the university offered a great international, yet intimate, atmosphere and a portfolio of study programmes with an global outlook. Opting for the Bachelor in Hospitality Management, I really appreciated how the course was tailored to the industry, with excellent professors and lectures geared towards real-life scenarios. The small size of the study groups really helped with the learning environment, and throughout my time at the university I was able to make great industry connections and build a specialist network that I am still in touch with today.
A hospitality globetrotter
Through IU, I got in touch with Four Seasons, and after I graduated they recruited me as Assistant Manager at their Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. After subsequently working for Four Seasons in Qatar, I secured a role Events Floor Manager at the newly reopened SAVOY in London. Eventually, I was promoted to Director of Events Operations there, a position I held for 2 years before my husband and I decided to go to South Africa after he got a job offer in Cape Town. Here, while undertaking an online Master’s degree – and also having my first child – I worked for a time as a senior consultant for a travel and events company. However, missing the hospitality industry, and intrigued by the Radisson RED Cape Town concept that was due to open in 2017, I applied for the Assistant Curator position. Now, 4 years and a second child later, I am in a general management role as Curator.
New spaces for positive change
Looking to the future, I am passionate about the RED brand and want to keep working in that creative and rule-challenging environment. I am also determined to help create further space for female empowerment in the hospitality industry, as well as continuing to create awareness for how the industry offers opportunity for a better future for so many young South Africans. And of course, I want to improve my open water swimming skills. And maybe one day some industry mates and I will get together and write a book of all our hospitality stories!
Leonie Andereya is from Bonn, Germany and graduated from the IU (formerly IUBH) Bachelor in Hospitality Management in 2007. She is Curator of Radisson RED Cape Town in South Africa, where she lives with her husband and two daughters (aged 3 and 6). She loves the ocean and nature, and spends a lot of time swimming, surfing and hiking.