Elaina Fitzgerald, Class of 1999 is currently working with her family in the family business – Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel & Spa.

What 3 words best describe your experience as a student of Shannon College?

The best start.

What college memory still makes you smile?

Walking home the very first day with great people who became life long friends.

If you had to re-live your time in Shannon College, would you do anything differently?

Soak up every moment on placements – in work and outside of work.

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

Be more financially aware – think like your manager – plot out your goals and continually revisit.

In your life, what achievement are you most proud of?

In my hotel life, together with my family and amazing team, achieving 4 stars and building towards a resort style property! We are not there yet! Becoming the president of the Irish Hotels Federation following on the footsteps of my mother Mary who was the first female president and also so many other fantastic mentors.

What qualities do you think are most important to have for a rewarding career?

Passionate, Adaptive, Creative, Visionary and Thankful.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced during Covid-19?

Keeping our hotel, guesthouse and broader tourism community positively engaged in laying the foundation blocks for Tourism Recovery.

Do you have words of wisdom that you try to live by?

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day.

What advice do you have for current SCHM students who are looking for inspiration and hope?

Better days lie ahead. Plan for them now and when the time comes, apply yourself like you have never done before. Soak up every opportunity. Think like your manager. Work with great mentors. Think Glocal. Be thankful.

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