One February afternoon, Nina (Delaware North, Wembley Account Manager) and I made our way to the home of England football, Wembley Stadium, not in the name of football (we are footie amateurs) but in the name of Event Staffing of course!
After a slight detour within the stadium (aka getting lost) Nina and I met with Val and Julia from Delaware North at Wembley Stadium to talk hospitality, events, travel, food, family and all sorts. It became evident as soon as we met Val and Julia, that they both loved their jobs and made a great staffing team.
We asked Val and Julia a whole variety of question, read on to find out what they said. It’s a great way to get to know them. You never know you might find out something you have in common!
Firstly, what are your names?
Val: My name is Valmari, or everyone just calls me Val and I’m the Head of Staffing Operations here at Wembley.
Julia: My name is Julia and I’m the Staffing Operations Manager.
What is the thing you like best about your work?
Val: We get to meet so many different people, not every event is the same so, it keeps us on our toes and it’s quite exciting.
Julia: Yes, I agree. Events in general, it’s just the excitement of all the events, you have to love it!
Obviously they both love their jobs, working with people and being at such an iconic venue, but we had to ask…
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
As we all know, work isn’t the only thing we do, or at least it shouldn’t be, so we asked…
What would be your perfect day away from work?
Sounds like they are kept busy with work and really appreciate their time out! This made us wonder how intense their work schedules can get, especially during events seasons.
So do you work 5 days a week, or is it different every week?
Woahh! Now that’s dedication!
Do you guys spend time together outside of work, or just keep it at work?(Val and Julia look at each other)
Val: I think spending 16 hours a day is enough!
(I know what you’re thinking – 16 hour day??! Youch!! Oh, and Val is joking)
Val: I think we’d like to try to, we’ve had one or two occasions and we’re certainly hoping for more this year. We’ve had a staffing team get together at the beginning of the year, so hopefully we can grow on that.
Stepping outside the realms of normality we ask:
What super power would you like to have and why?
Julia: I wish I could fly, just to get me home, fly to nice sunny places.
…miss all the tube delays…
Val: Flying is up there, but also probably reading peoples’ minds. Very useful for work, but scary!
We all have one or a few things that we really depend on in life…
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Val: My iPhone
Exasperated Julia: Oh Val!!
Val: No but it is! It’s my contact to my family, it’s my photos, my camera, I read my books from there, umm… I do my shopping from there on my way home or on the train. I literally do everything on it at the moment.
Julia: I was just about to say it’s just my family and friends!
Let’s talk travel…
Where is the best place you’ve travelled to and why?
Julia: That’s a very difficult one…
Val: Every place has its own qualities!
Julia: For me I think it’s probably… Australia, I used to live in there! It feels like my second home. I’ve got family over there as well, this is always close to my heart.
Now we all know that Australia is home to some pretty big deals in the world of creepy crawlies, what did this mean to Julia?
Julia: When I decided to move over my friends and family were laughing because I hate spiders. I’m so scared of them and I would never, never get used to them, but it’s not as bad as everyone says. You have to live there for a while to see them, but if you see them they are huge, they are like this…
Julia shows with her hands the size of a UK supermarket honeydew melon. They must be the kind of spiders that eat birds!
Val with lit up eyes: I’ve been lucky to travel a couple of places either through work or just travelling. One which is probably closest to home is Zimbabwe. We went on one of my best holidays, I still remember it. We went to this amazing lodge in Zimbabwe, literally on the Zambezi River. There was no protection around the chalet, so animals could walk right by you; you were completely in the wild, no televisions, no communication out to the world. It was just myself and my family and it was just such a good memory. We were looked after so well; every chalet had a swimming pool in front of it so you didn’t really need much more. We’d be taken out on game drives and on one occasion I almost had a heart attack. We stopped in the middle of a heard of elephants who were grazing around us. They’re just so majestic and big and it was just so amazing being part of nature like that.
We all agreed that we would like to be millionaires so that we could travel all the time! It didn’t take much convincing!
Now, bringing things a bit closer to home:
Time for something unexpected
Tell us something that might surprise us about you…
Working in events is cool…
What’s your favourite memory from working in events? Have you ever met any famous people? Celebs or “celebs”?
Food glorious food…
What’s your favourite food?
Julia: I love Turkish food
Julia: And then being very German I also like my pretzels!
“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching”
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
What tips would you give to anyone who is just getting started in hospitality?
Val: I first came over 10 years ago and my first job was working as an agency waitress and though I had my HR background and my HR degree, it was something I really had to work hard at. It is working yourself up and when you reach the position you want, it’s not losing that perspective of being that staff member. It’s important to remember where you’ve come from so you can make that impact you want to make or that you potentially wanted when you were a waitress or a waiter or someone starting in the industry. If you work hard and you’re ambitious you’ll get to where you need to be.
Julia: I completely agree!