Windhoek-Katriena Hoeses is Okaukuejo’s resort manager, and her love for the Etosha National Park is what makes her stand out from the crowd. Having started her professional career as a resort officer at Namutoni, at the inception of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), one can see why Kate, as her colleagues call her, has a soft spot for the Etosha National Park.
Being a young and driven lady her hard work and efforts did not go unnoticed as her manager at that time offered her a 3-year bursary to study at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), previously known as the Polytechnic of Namibia.
What has kept her in love with the tourism industry is the joy she derives from being of service to others.
“I love my job because I am one of those people who want to help and please guests or anyone in need of assistance. When I see a guest or a visitor around the resort in need of assistance, I always go out of my way to put a smile on their faces because to me that is the primary purpose of my job. Waving goodbye to a guest leaving the resort satisfied, and assuring a repeat of business, have always been the highlight of my job.”
As it is with every job, Kate does face challenges. “Visitors can sometimes require a lot from you, but having been in the industry for so long, I have picked up different skills and strategies to calm any situation and turn dissatisfied guests into happy guests.”
She has learned that for one to be successful in the service industry, you need to have a strong sense of professionalism and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide excellent service. With direct support and help from her team, it makes doing what she loves very easy.
Starting off as a resort officer to become a resort manager for NWR’s biggest resort, she can confidently say that NWR has moulded her into the strong and motivated woman she is today. She certainly says NWR has given her great opportunities in furthering her career.
Earlier in her profession she was required to take up training at the National Institute of Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises in India and conducted her job attachment at Luminous One Continent Hotel in Abids, Hyderabad, India.
To date, what still puts a smile on her face are two distinct events. The first one is when in May 2015, Okaukuejo was awarded a floating trophy for being the best financial-performing resort, while the big one was during the financial year 2015/2016 when Okaukeujo generated N$100 million in revenue for the first time in its history. She feels that this was a great financial milestone reached for the whole organisation and that’s why she dedicated this achievement to the entire NWR team.
To relax she enjoys spending time with her family who she says have been her biggest rock and support throughout her career. She recounts that through her lifetime, she has learned and experienced a lot, which she will narrate in a book to be titled, ‘Life of a camp manager at NWR.’
“I have a lot of stories to tell and want to inspire everyone out there,” says an ecstatic Kate. She concludes by saying that she owes a great deal of gratitude to the current and past leadership of NWR that has played a role in her ascent to her current position.