In the first of our ‘Get to Know a Grad’ profiles, we catch up with Timo Lorenzen, graduate of TIME intake no. 32.
We sat down for a fireside chat with the charismatic Hotel Manager to get to know him a bit better.
Timo, why did you enrol in TIME?
In early 2018, I’d come to point in my career where I felt stagnation. There were different reasons for this, one simply being unsure about my next steps. To understand this a little better allow me a few words about myself.
When I joined the world of hotels in 2009, I had no clue about the hotel business. While my F&B knowledge was very sound, I never imagined myself in the world of hotels.
In spite of this, I accepted a Restaurant Manager position in the very first German Adina in Berlin. If someone had told me that in less than 10 years I’d moved to the other side of the world and be a Cluster Manager of 5 hotels, I would certainly asked the person to check their medication.
From the get-go my career has been fast-paced and, in early 2018, I came to the point where I didn’t know what was next for me. Development activities and opportunities in my role were rather limited, so I was looking for something new. Michelle Carter then asked me if I’d be interested in attending a TIME meeting as a guest.
While many think I find networking easy, it’s actually quite the opposite. I felt quite uncomfortable in a crowd of people who seemed very senior to me. I am, however, someone who embraces the ‘growth zone’—also known as the uncomfortable zone—and my previous employer was generous enough to sponsor my TIME experience.
When did you go through the program. and who were you matched with?
Later in 2018, I completed the requisite paperwork and sent it to the amazing Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was a little scared, but also curious. I’d heard quite a few graduate speeches highlighting how grateful they were for the experience and how deeply touched they were by their special relationship with their mentor. But what if I couldn’t connect with mine? Would I actually get something out of the experience?
Day 1 came, and my mentor and I were due to have our very first meeting. I was running late—the ultimate worst-case-scenario for a German. Rushing through Sydney’s CBD to reach the Four Seasons Hotel more-or-less on time, it seemed like everyone else had plenty of it up their sleeves as they strolled at ultra-slow pace and—my absolute nightmare—in horizontal chains of four.
At the Four Seasons a gorgeously dressed woman trying to read information on her smart phone caught my eye. Her calmness and joyful energy even a he struggled with the font size on her phone was captivating.
Rushing up the stairs to the function room I learned that I had actually arrived before my mentor. Phew! Time to breathe. Two minutes later the gorgeously dressed woman enters the room and, as anyone who’s ever read an average tale before would guess, it was my mentor: Fiona Rose. The journey had started.
What were your objectives and what outcomes have you achieved?
My only objective was ‘knowing my next steps’.
Fiona, who has tons of experience in the travel industry and as a mentor and coach, instinctively knew it was about more than that.
In our meetings she encouraged me to be brave, challenge myself even further and follow my dreams and values. Soon my life was on the fast-track again. I challenged myself with public speaking competitions, studies, guest lecturer opportunities and, of course, networking.
We had a fantastic time at my graduation and, soon after, I accepted my latest challenge at Veriu Broadway.
It’s hard to describe what the benefits of a mentoring program are, as they are different for all of us. I only know that if you are truly open to the experience your career and life will change.
Have I achieved my objectives? Yes, already a few weeks in. My TIME experience still inspires and drives me every day.