We talked to Rocio Alba, Group Sales Agent at Beds & Bars, to find out more about her experience on the Rising Stars programme. Rocio has applied to be involved in the course twice, so is very familiar with the idea and structure of the four-week programme – but she says that nothing could have prepared her for the first two week’s activities!
About Rising Stars
Rising Stars takes 12 selected applicants on a four-week journey that spans time with the Royal Navy in Dartmouth, a week in Barcelona practising public speaking, a period in Berlin learning about finance, and culminates in high-level presentations to the Beds & Bars board. Each applicant arrives with an idea that can have a positive impact on the business, and all 12 will refine, research and perfect their ‘brain children’ throughout the course.
Q. Can you give us a quick introduction about yourself? Including your favourite drink!
A. Of Course! I was born in Argentina but have lived in the US, Germany and now Spain. I graduated in Political Science and International relations and am currently working at Beds and Bars. Love a good thriller book to relax and some karaoke and escape rooms for fun! My favourite drink is a good old reliable Gin and Tonic, refreshing and delicious!
Q. What’s your role at Beds and Bars right now? How long have you been working at the company?
A. I am based in sunny Barcelona and have been working at the Group Bookings department over a year now. I started working for Beds and Bars in 2017 as a receptionist in Berlin Alexanderplatz, then moved to Barcelona and became a Hostel Supervisor until I moved to the Group Bookings department. It’s been 6 great years now.
Q. Why did you apply for the Rising Stars Programme?
A. To be honest, this is the second time I applied, the first one being in 2018. This year my manager encouraged me to apply once again. I believe it is a great opportunity to grow both personally and professionally and I would love to see my idea implemented in the near future. That would be quite an achievement!
Q. How was your interview? Did you get nervous?
A. Thankfully I knew Chance, the course leader, previously so I was not super nervous. However, it felt similar to a job interview as the applicants need to prove why they need to be selected so there was some pressure on our end involved.
Q. And how has your experience been so far?
A. I am very fond of Beds and Bars. I have had amazing experiences in all the cities and departments I worked in, making me feel I was home. Having a good work environment and to be able to work with travellers and make them happy is the best. I feel the same with our Rising Stars group – the more we know each other and the more we work together, it becomes clear that Chance has put a lot of thought into the selection process and that we have each other’s back.
Q. What is the most important thing that you’ve learned on the programme? And how will this impact your work/life?
A. I am quite independent and not afraid to take on new challenges by myself. I try to welcome any new experience with open arms and see where it goes, I always end up learning something new. However I do struggle with confidence and making myself heard. I am certain the experiences I’ve had on Rising Stars will give me the boost I need to be more sure of myself in all the aspects of my life.
Q. And what have you found the most difficult on the program so far?
A. Public speaking for sure. How to create a story and engage the audience was something I found extremely difficult to do. It is easy to feel nervous and lose your train of thought, especially delivering a speech in the middle of Plaza Catalunya during peak time!
Q. Are you excited for the upcoming weeks? What are you expecting?
A. Yes I am! Now we dive deep into how to develop our idea, which is essential for our final presentation. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with in Week 4.
Q. And to finish, how do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
A. That is a tough question. I would like to keep growing professionally wherever that takes me. I would like to apply the skills and experience I learned throughout my years at Beds and Bars and apply them in projects I feel passionate about within the company. Even if my idea is not the winner, I would still like to pursue it and be able to implement it and see it grow in 10 years time.