sydney young

Sydney Young

Senior Sales Manager, Cornwall

Sydney has worked for Harbour Hotels for ten years, beginning as a Senior Wedding and Events Coordinator at St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa after she held her own wedding there! Over the years she was promoted to Sales Manager of St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa and now oversees sales for our three Cornish properties in Fowey, Padstow and St Ives.

How did you start your career in Hospitality?

My background was in interior design. I had relocated to Cornwall and was looking for a new job but was really missing the planning, organisation and client-facing parts of my previous roles, so while I was planning my own wedding at St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, I found out that their wedding coordinator was leaving and I applied.

What skills have helped you get to where you are today?

I balance the business side of my brain with the creative side quite well. This means I have a passion for hitting sales targets and am good with budgets, but I also love working with guests and helping to shape their weddings and events. Listening to the guests and really understanding what they need is a core skill needed for this job, so being able to empathise with others is important - also for leading a team. You need to understand that not everyone is the same, so being approachable and non-judgemental has really helped me get the best from my teams.

What is your favourite part about your role?

I love seeing people succeed and do well. Spotting talent from other areas of the business and mentoring and shaping their career in sales has been really rewarding. 

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?

You can learn so much from everyone already around you. Having good listening skills and being inquisitive will get you far - whether that's paying attention to how a manager you admire goes about their business or asking questions about processes and systems you haven't used before. Once you are in a management position, it's important to remember that sharing your knowledge is key - you'll empower your team who can help you to do even better work. Finally, if you've got a goal or a dream - go for it! Get involved wherever you can and absorb all the information that you can at every stage, you never know when you might use it. Just take ownership and be the one to step up and take on the responsibility.

Do you have aspirations for the future?

I'm currently developing the events and weddings business at Fowey Harbour Hotel and Padstow Harbour Hotel and I would love to grow a robust team at both properties while continuing to support our excellent Sales Manager at St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, Bliss, and seek out new opportunities for the team there. Longer term, I'd love to consider expanding my role to more hotels across the south west.

Do you have a highlight from your time working with Harbour Hotels?

A highlight for me would be looking back over the years at all the weddings I’ve been involved with and thinking ‘WOW’. Weddings are one of the most important days of a couple's life. It’s such an amazing feeling to know I’ve been a part of the journey and helped create their special day.