I had spoken to Analise Scicluna several times over the phone but had never met her personally. She is petite and soft-spoken, but it was evident from the start that she was a determined person with a mission. Analise joined Corinthia almost four years ago as Conference and Events Coordinator, where she also grew to sell events, with her favourite being weddings. She then had the opportunity to spend a few months at the Front Desk and move to the Food and Beverage Department. Earlier this year, Analise was promoted to Executive Assistant and Quality Analyst at Corinthia Palace. Analise, who studied Hotel Operations at ITS (Institute of Tourism Studies), finds the hospitality world engaging and demanding but always very interesting.
Being in charge of Quality means ensuring existing standards are retained and new ones firmly established. ‘I am still finding my feet in this new role, and therefore I am currently observing and assessing all areas and the best way to tackle one area at a time. I’m very grateful that I was given the opportunity for cross-exposure at Corinthia Lisbon to familiarise myself with certain standards. It is also particularly challenging as this specialised role is new for the hotel, so setting solid ground is very crucial. It’s is a learning curve journey with many aims and goals to achieve.’
What about her job as Personal Assistant to the General Manager, Alexandra Pisani? ‘It is fascinating, yet, naturally, demanding. Alexandra is an amazing person to work with and someone I look up to with respect. She is a strong woman with a vision, and working for her pushes me to be a better version of myself and increases my adrenaline to move forward with determination.’
Asked how long she has been here, she softly answered, ‘Almost four years,’ but quickly added in a more determined tone, ‘I feel I belong here, and my efforts are appreciated. Corinthia Palace is a special place for me. This is where Corinthia’s story began. I am fully aware of the pioneering efforts of Mr Alfred Pisani, our Chairman, and feel inspired by his words.’
We chatted about the philosophy behind the Spirit of Corinthia. ‘It is all so engaging and inspirational. What also hits me is that some of the precepts are so natural but fundamental.’
And what are her aspirations? ‘I am always open to new opportunities. Naturally, I must first grow in my present duties and mature in my responsibilities.’
I asked whether she had any platform to base herself on and build further. ‘We have a detailed set of standards, steps and procedures that we need to follow with the service we offer. Our mindset has to be focused on the guest experience. We strive to get feedback from our guests to help us understand our strengths and, most importantly, the opportunities for creating memorable moments for everyone that walks through our doors.’
So, does her work essentially involve working with the Operation Departments? ‘Most certainly! And also with the Human Resources department. For the team to deliver a good service, the Department Heads have to work in unison and provide the tools, which in most situations is based on continuous training.’
Does she encounter opposition? ‘Rather than opposition, a certain diffidence in the new when specific things have been done in a manner for many years. I am grateful to be surrounded by colleagues who are happy to share their ideas of how we can work together to achieve better results.’
So, can I say that your mission is an evolving one within Corinthia Palace? ‘You are right. I need to further establish myself within this role and no longer as an Operations person as I’ve been known for in the past. I am without a doubt grateful for all the past experiences as they have shaped me to be the person I am today.’
I wondered whether she was a calm person. ‘Sometimes. Or should I say, not always. I tend to get anxious. I am very direct, so I may come across sharply. I am conscious that I need to work on this, but I do not like it when things go wrong. I am a realist and always up for a challenge.’
And does she think a lot? ‘Yes, sometimes, perhaps too much. I love to analyse, but sometimes my anxiety takes over, so I try to break down a problem and see if I can view it and tackle it differently. I am fully aware that a problem is never a one-shaded chunk. I have to see its different components and views.’
And after work? I was surprised by the answer. ‘I enjoy the outdoors and love hiking. Hiking is great physically and being in nature is extremely beneficial mentally. I love to travel and some of my best holidays have been long distance hiking and camping in very remote areas.
I am also a member of the Malta Girl Guides, currently on the National Board as District Commissioner. It’s time and energy-consuming but extremely valid. Girl Guides gives me the opportunity to be part of a community that helps one to develop their fullest potential to be responsible citizens; that is the mission statement. The programme is very varied and covers a lot of life skills and relevant issues while being fun and adventurous. It is also a worldwide movement so I’ve had a few international opportunities too. I know that sometimes the work gets somewhat loaded, but I love it, and it helps me with my leadership skills in my job at Corinthia because I live the team experience also in this place, which I love so much.’