Since launching our mentorship programme, back in April 2020, The Growth Works has been keen to learn more about the mentors and mentees who make up our network. This profile series offers a glimpse into the minds of industry leaders who are generously sharing their time and expertise with our mentees, as well as shining a spotlight on the upcoming talent within our industry.
Name: Sandro Fonseca
Why did you get into hospitality?
To be honest, I never imagined working in the hospitality industry. I started working as a telemarketing operator in a hotel when I saw an internship opportunity in the telephone department, I applied, I got it and stayed in this industry ever since. There is this saying in Brazil: “Hospitality is a Brazilian cachaça”, because once you try it there is no turning back. I am happy to have tried it! My journey in the hospitality industry started in the operational area (phone operator and reception), but for a really short time, after that I moved to reservation, group, sales, revenue and everything that was related to the commercial department. In the last 5 years I have been working mainly with business intelligence and revenue.
What are your career highlights?
- Becoming a manager at the age of 28, leading a team of more than 40 employees successfully as we did increase revenue by more than 60% YOY.
- Winning an award in 2017 by HSMAI Brazil as the best revenue performance focused on direct revenue.
- Taking over the commercial area in one of the largest hotel chains in the world, the Louvre Hotels Group, in charge of Revenue and Sales in Brazil.
What is the project you are most excited about right now?
Training, engagement, and team improvement. I have always been fascinated by training and projects that involve knowledge sharing, that motivate me a lot. Currently, I have also been working on a personal diversity project, in addition to feeling responsible for giving voice to so many that still cannot stand out.
What are you most looking forward to after the pandemic?
I expect a world with more empathy, sense of community, where everyone can actually contribute to a better world, where people have more equality, after all everything we are going through shows how alike we are, no matter your background, the impact can be the same when we don’t think about others and don’t take care of our own.
Why did you join The Growth Works mentorship programme?
First, I read something about it on LinkedIn that caught my attention then I decided to search it a little deeper. I found the idea brilliant and it is a project that I honestly believe in. From now on we need to be increasingly united, sharing knowledge, partners with each other. This project also made me believe that even with the distance barrier, it is possible to fully experience different and unique scenarios, from all over the world, which is quite enriching. Now imagine sharing it with brilliant and curious professionals and minds. I had no other choice than to accept it!
What are you looking for in a mentee?
When we talk about relationships in general, we believe that we are looking for someone different from us, but I don’t believe in that very much, I believe that we are looking for someone to complete us. Because of that, when we talk about an ideal mentee I believe that we end up looking for similar people but with ideas that complement ours, the mentee during the process becomes a little mentor too, because it makes us go beyond what we know. Summing up, the mentee I am looking for is one who wants to learn, willing to listen but not afraid to question.
Tell us one thing you’ve learned since you joined the programme/from a mentee.
I have experienced many things during this program, but as a mentor what I was able to learn with my mentees is that the more they ask, the more they challenge us, the more everybody learns.
Would you recommend The Growth Works mentorship programme? Why?
Yes, definitely. It is a program with excellent professionals, with several people willing to learn and teach. As it is a project with people from all over the world, the result is enriching and helps us to obtain different insights. Not to mention all the networking, so important in hospitality.