For 29 years, Jenefer McSheene has worked in the hospitality industry.
She began her career at the Prospect Reef Resort back in 1985, when tourism was still very much in its infancy. “I worked in just about every department,” Jenefer said. “Back then everyone had to pitch in wherever help was needed in order to ensure the property ran smoothly.”
Fifteen years ago, she joined the Peter Island Resort as the Reservations Manager and has worked in several departments, including that of Events Manager. She has now settled into the position of Night Duty Manager, where she is responsible for guest services issues, technical difficulties and assisting any department where problems arise during the night shift.
“You always want to ensure that the guests are happy, that their needs are met, that all complaints are quickly resolved.”
“I have seen quite a number of changes in the industry since I began,” Jenefer said. “The clientele is more diverse, they have higher expectations and require more activities. Working at Peter Island Resort has been a tremendous learning and growth experience for me.”
One of the reasons Peter Island sometimes struggles to find and retain staff is because of the daily boat ride. It proves a deterrent for many, but Jenefer sees it as an opportunity to prepare for the work ahead. “I get to mentally leave the stress of Tortola behind. I can relax and meditate and when I arrive on island, I am ready to work,” Jenefer explained.
The natural beauty of Peter Island Resort can lure any worker into a slower mode, as just being heremakes you feel as if you are on vacation; however Jenefer attests that the reality of work soon sets in. “You always want to ensure that the guests are happy, that their needs are met, that any complaints are quickly resolved.”
Jenefer would like young BVIslanders to know that working in the tourism industry is an everyday adventure; you get to meet new people everyday,people from all over the world with very diverse backgrounds. She thinks it is long overdue to disband the idea of servitude.
She does however acknowledge that there are not too many women in management and that, she attributes to the fact that working in a hotel at that level is a very demanding 24 hour job. “It is very difficult to balance work and family life as a manager in the hotel sector of the tourism industry,” she said.
“On the other hand Peter Island is always looking for hard working and talented persons to join the team.” Jenefer encourages those seeking work in the tourism industry to apply to Peter Island for a career defining opportunity.