From journalism to marketing : How I did it

Friday August 2 2019

Inspiration. Nalubega believes hard work and

Inspiration. Nalubega believes hard work and patience can get you to any dream. Photo by Edgar batte  

By Edgar Batte

Before joining Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Jacqueline Nalubega, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing had never envisioned working in the hospitality industry.

At university, Nalubega studied journalism and majored in broadcast. As a fresh graduate, she joined Monitor FM as an interning reporter and sales person. After Monitor FM, Nalubega went on to join sustainable Development, a company attached to Akright Project.
Joining Sheraton Hotel
Nalubega says that as a sales person at Sustainable Development, she would sometimes meet potential clients at Sheraton Hotel. It was during one of these meetings that Anatoli Kamugisha, Akright’s chief executive officer unknowingly nudged her into what would be her career for the next 14 years.

“Kamugisha called me and told him I was at Sheraton Hotel. He asked me to go to the hotel’s marketing department and help him book a room in Sheraton New York,” Nalubega recalls.
While booking the room Nalubega met the hotel’s marketing manager, Janet Muzigo and after a 10 minutes conversation, Muzigo told Nalubega that she wanted her to work at Sheraton.

“I never thought I would work at a hotel. I used to think it is only those who study hospitality who work in the hotel industry but God had a different plan for my life,” she says.
After a series of interviews, she was offered a sales executive position.

Training
The hotel facilitated her training in publishing which enabled her edit and do design and artwork.

“I was sales executive and a public relations (PR) officer at no extra pay but my accountability for sales remained equal to other sales executives,” she recounts.

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Nalubega says she beat the targets that were set for her PR role. For the five years she served as PR, pro-bono, gaining experience that would later on come in handy.

Her job now entails generating top line revenue for the company so she sells 236 rooms of the hotel- 27 suits, including three presidential suites conferences and banqueting among other amenities.

Jean Philippe, the general manager, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, says Nalubega has managed to maintain many good accounts throughout the years.

“She started out as a trainee more than 10 years ago, grew up in the sales and marketing department thanks to her solid network she has developed over time, ” he says.

Motivation
Three things have propelled Nalubega to her career portfolio; God, passion and reassurance.
When asked what drives her, she says passion.

“For 14 years, I would not say I wanted to stay in one place. I wanted to see what is on the other side of the wall. I am driven by passion. There is no single day I do my job without energy. I am an excellence junkie.”

Career advice
Nalubega says that for one to succeed, they must be hardworking and patient.

“Do not expect a lot from people. Do your job, do it right and to the best of your abilities. God rewards the diligent. Fellow young people map up life and if it is not working, then leave.”

The best advice she has received was from her former boss, Jenifer Musiime who told her to put her faith in God and not people.

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