Warm. Creative. Connecting.

How does one actually become a hospitality consultant? Where do the roots of this profession lie, and how did Christine Friedreich get here?

This profession is deeply personal for me, and I wanted to share some of the experiences from my journey that have guided me to where I am today: doing a job that I love, and that I have pursued with passion, enthusiasm, and curiosity.

As the daughter of a business owner, an entrepreneurial spirit and business sense were instilled in me at an early age. But enjoyment and the pleasure of entertaining friends and family was also a big part of our life at home. It’s no wonder then, that I was drawn to the Tourism school, HLF Krems, where I discovered my passion for hospitality, gastronomy and traveling.

I honed the tools of my trade at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein, where I studied Sports, Culture & Event Management. Although I learned a lot from studies, when I look back,  it’s clear that I gained the most valuable insights from the many internships I did in the hospitality and service industry. I was always in my element when I was “doing,” and when I was actively involved and engaged.

My career path began when I was working in hospitality for the UEFA EURO 2008.  As the social program coordinator, I was responsible for the closing dinner in Vienna and for the social program for VIP guests of the UEFA family. I also hosted the South African delegation. This was followed by a project with Milka (now Mondelez) at the Skiing World Championship in Val d’Isère, and then I began the trainee program at A1 Telekom.

In 2011, I had one of my most formative days at A1 Telekom. As the project manager responsible for developing a strategy for eHealth solutions, I spent one day in an A1 shop as a customer consultant. From the first smile I exchanged with one of our customers, I instantly felt happy and better than I had in a long time. I could finally interact with real people—our customers—in person and could give them the feeling that someone really and truly cared about their needs and concerns At the same time, I also received direct feedback from our customers that gave me a new perspective on our strategy, which is something I couldn’t get at my office desk. That day in the shop took me back to my time working in gastronomy and event management. The customers had the same happy look on their faces that I had been missing.  It was a happiness that I shared, and the experience left me with deep sense of satisfaction and resolve.

I had reached a crossroads in my journey. I knew what I wanted; I wanted to go back to direct contact with customer and put people at the center of what I did from now on. I truly believe that the guest, the person, the partner must be the central focus of every business’ and every organization’s activities. To connect with people you need to show your human side!

In 2012, I took the plunge  and founded my own company, which has enjoyed continued success. I don’t regret a single day that I have spent as a self-employed business owner. I love what I do, and I love bringing people together, whether it’s the customers of my customers, or companies. And because I get to wake up and do what I love every day, I have the best job in the world.

Krems – Embracing Serendipity Through a happy coincidence, and after just one year of being self-employed, I was offered the chance to teach at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems and at the University of Economics and Business Vienna. I couldn’t help thinking “Me?!” when I first received the offers. But people grow to meet challenges and grow from them, so I decided to accept. Since 2013, I have had the pleasure of teaching Event Management with a focus on Hospitality at both of these Universities, as well as abroad in Baku and Sanya.

As the daughter of a business owner, an entrepreneurial spirit and business sense were instilled in me at an early age. But enjoyment and the pleasure of entertaining friends and family was also a big part of our life at home. It’s no wonder then, that I was drawn to the Tourism school, HLF Krems, where I discovered my passion for hospitality, gastronomy and traveling.

I honed the tools of my trade at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein, where I studied Sports, Culture & Event Management. Although I learned a lot from studies, when I look back,  it’s clear that I gained the most valuable insights from the many internships I did in the hospitality and service industry. I was always in my element when I was “doing,” and when I was actively involved and engaged.

My career path began when I was working in hospitality for the UEFA EURO 2008.  As the social program coordinator, I was responsible for the closing dinner in Vienna and for the social program for VIP guests of the UEFA family. I also hosted the South African delegation. This was followed by a project with Milka (now Mondelez) at the Skiing World Championship in Val d’Isère, and then I began the trainee program at A1 Telekom.

In 2011, I had one of my most formative days at A1 Telekom. As the project manager responsible for developing a strategy for eHealth solutions, I spent one day in an A1 shop as a customer consultant. From the first smile I exchanged with one of our customers, I instantly felt happy and better than I had in a long time. I could finally interact with real people—our customers—in person and could give them the feeling that someone really and truly cared about their needs and concerns At the same time, I also received direct feedback from our customers that gave me a new perspective on our strategy, which is something I couldn’t get at my office desk. That day in the shop took me back to my time working in gastronomy and event management. The customers had the same happy look on their faces that I had been missing.  It was a happiness that I shared, and the experience left me with deep sense of satisfaction and resolve.

I had reached a crossroads in my journey. I knew what I wanted; I wanted to go back to direct contact with customer and put people at the center of what I did from now on. I truly believe that the guest, the person, the partner must be the central focus of every business’ and every organization’s activities. To connect with people you need to show your human side!

In 2012, I took the plunge  and founded my own company, which has enjoyed continued success. I don’t regret a single day that I have spent as a self-employed business owner. I love what I do, and I love bringing people together, whether it’s the customers of my customers, or companies. And because I get to wake up and do what I love every day, I have the best job in the world.

Krems – Embracing Serendipity Through a happy coincidence, and after just one year of being self-employed, I was offered the chance to teach at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems and at the University of Economics and Business Vienna. I couldn’t help thinking “Me?!” when I first received the offers. But people grow to meet challenges and grow from them, so I decided to accept. Since 2013, I have had the pleasure of teaching Event Management with a focus on Hospitality at both of these Universities, as well as abroad in Baku and Sanya.

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