Pinball is an arcade game where a ball is fired into a pinball machine, hitting various lights, bumpers, ramps, and other targets until the ball reaches its final target. The ball takes a haphazard route, and the situation changes drastically, but the end is always the same: to make the ball reach its final target with the highest score.
Sometimes an interview resembles a pinball game where the story moves erratically. Still, the end is always the same: the actuation of an individual dream or fulfilment of one’s mission or duty. This was the case when interviewing Giusy Inghilterra, Administrative Executive of Corinthia Hotels Limited.
Her story started on straight rails. She described her current work, how she greeted visitors, answered phone calls, and supported the offices to help them run smoothly and efficiently.
“Greeting and assisting my colleagues and potential clients with a smile comes naturally to me. I am conscious I am often the first person to greet many clients/customers before they meet with any of my colleagues, so I do my best to leave a good impression of their initial contact with Corinthia.
“I make sure that we have got all that is necessary in the offices, and follow up from stationery orders to staff welfare orders. I support different departments in issuing PRs for approval and then follow their payments by account department.
“I also assist my colleagues in their travel arrangements, including booking accommodations, flights, visas when required, and transfers to our international hotels and international trade. I also take care of shipping our branded samples, materials and sometimes IT supports tools to our colleagues spread across our international hotels.”
The way Giusy spoke and expressed herself showed she had a broad background of different experiences. I noticed a glint in Giusy’s eyes which faintly betrayed her wish to share her past story. And the pinball started its course. She related how in 2006, she obtained a university degree in Sicily in Public Relations, a specialised field of Political Science. Her final thesis was an experimental study focusing on Media Migration Communication Tools.
“During this time, I collaborated with Caritas of Ragusa, Sicily, to produce an emotional short film named ‘Oltre le apparenze’ (Beyond Appearances). The short film debuted at the 2007 Corto Pergola Film Festival and was subsequently selected for the 2008 ‘Fatevi i Corti Vostri Film Festival’. This wonderful experience allowed me to lead concept research, assemble a dedicated team, fine-tune scripts, manage production, and spearhead publicity efforts. The short also was chosen for the International Day of Migration in Rome.
“Just a month after obtaining my degree, I embarked on a transformative year-long project in Leeds, UK. There, I immersed myself in something different – the world of Heart Research UK, assisting in fundraising events, such as concerts.”
Another pinball tilt! “I also supported young offenders within a prison in Wetherby. Guiding those under-18 youth in their educational pursuits, I took on the role of assistant teacher of various basic subjects. That was an experience which enriched me tremendously. I came across tragedies of youths whose life had reached a point of no return. I met juveniles who only felt at home in prison and quickly committed a crime when their prison term ended to return to their familiar cell. I learnt how lucky I was to be born into a family without such problems. It’s a great lesson that many of us forget or take for granted but are more inclined to groan and grumble for their lack of extra comforts or luxuries.
“Pinball tilt! With fluency in a new language, I returned to my homeland, Sicily, and channelled my skills into the hospitality sector. I started as a receptionist at a charming Boutique Hotel in Marina di Ragusa, providing only maternity cover.
“Then I moved on to something different: working in a winery company, where I was in charge of administration while guiding winery experiences for guests and international journalists. Amidst economic challenges for the Italian companies, I started a new role at a camping site, taking on diverse responsibilities ranging from promoting the business to guest relations and administrative tasks.
“Despite these accomplishments, my hunger for novel experiences persisted. This urge led me to a 4-month internship in New York, where I collaborated with Ornella Fado on Brindiamo TV. My responsibilities included media liaison with clients and restaurant associations for the broadcasting sector. The TV programme promoted Italian restaurants in the USA.
“Fuelled by a passion for diverse cultures and a desire to make a positive impact, I ventured to Denmark to work with NGOs, dedicating myself to promoting and fundraising for projects in Africa.
“After returning to Italy briefly to be closer to my family, my quest for new enriching experiences did not abate. Thus, in 2013, I journeyed to Malta for a 4-month course on Online Marketing at MCAST, and my thirst for growth pushed me to explore further.
“My first job in Malta in 2013 was with an Italian company, where my tasks were mainly marketing research, contacting potential clients and organising meetings to gain new clients. I contacted current and new suppliers abroad for goods ordering and general information, translated the organisation’s documents from Italian into English, took care of the company’s website, offered administrative support in registering invoices and different papers, and carried out other general organisational assignments.
“This experience helped me in no small way in my duties with Corinthia when I joined in 2017 to provide administrative support across the organisation, handling tasks ranging from procurement and invoice registration to front-desk coordination and travel arrangements for staff members.”
By now, all readers have rightly concluded Giusy hails from Sicily. But from where exactly? “From Comiso.” So what is the origin of her surname Inghilterra, that is, England? “ I do not know. This surname is not a rare one in the Comiso area, province of Ragusa. Who knows? Perhaps a common ancestor was English who married a Sicilian or was a Sicilian who returned from England after some time. Like I did.”
And does she keep regular contact with her family? “Very regularly. Almost daily. It’s easy now via the Internet. But I also visit them every other month. I enjoy bonding with my dear parents and my two brothers, four nephews and one niece. Sicily is only a stone’s throw away. And I see so much of Sicily in Malta. We have shared many years of history.”
So you chose Corinthia in 2017. Why? “The firm I was working with closed down, and a recruitment agency recommended Corinthia. I checked, did my homework, and loved what I learned. An international company with a great vision and a bright future.”
Another pinball tilt! “I am currently also following a ten-month online course on psychology. It helps me understand people more. I love meeting people, learning about new cultures…”
Giusy smiled and, after a few seconds, added: “And I love my cats.” Cats?
“Yes, I have two Maltese cats. One is six years old, and the other four. They are good company when I return home to relax and read books. And at the end of the day, I look forward to another day.”
Giusy’s kaleidoscope of experiences is not, after all, a cluster of side experiments or stray adventures. Each one of us is the product of a series of personal happenings which help us mature and be better equipped to fulfil our duties in life. No experience fades to nothing. Giusy’s ventures have helped her grow into a most humane character who offers her services with love, passion, understanding and, most of all, with a drive to turn her work into another mission to actuate herself and continue enjoying her Corinthia adventure.