In the Hot Seat

Fi Morley, the new General Manager of The Hub, located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, answers our burning questions in the H&E North hot seat.

How did you land your current role?
After 25 years working in the hospitality and catering industry, I had recently been made redundant so was starting to look about for a challenge that would provide real interest and use all of my skills. As luck would have it, The Hub was looking for someone – so it was perfect timing for me. It is the home of the Edinburgh International Festival so I am very proud to be associated with such a world-renowned organisation.

What did you want to be when you were young?
I had no idea…but I knew it had to be interesting and diverse – nothing too dry!

What has been your career highlight?
Serving Archbishop Desmond Tutu a hot chocolate. I am proud to say that I have had the honour of looking after various members of the royal family and politicians, organising the Royal Garden Party, a certain Scottish royal wedding and a papal visit. However, I am in awe of what Desmond Tutu has achieved and stood up for in his life.

Do you have any industry-related qualifications?
Yes – I went to Leeds Polytechnic as it was then known [now Leeds Beckett University], and studied Hospitality Management. It was a broad-ranging business qualification that just happened to focus on the hospitality industry. I also have various management qualifications taken through the years for CPD Certification Service, as well as a Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 3, which allows my wine appreciation to also be classed as continuing professional development! I think qualifications help open doors, but ultimately it is what you use them for that counts the most.

What do you love about working in your industry?
I love the fact that every day is different, and every month brings different challenges and projects to work on. It is a constantly changing sector, with different budgets, customer requirements and trends influencing what we need to do to win the business and keep ahead of the game.

What’s the biggest misconception about working in your sector?
In the early days of my career I was often asked ‘could you not do anything else?’ as if working in hospitality was only for life’s drop-outs. Now I am very pleased to say it is an established career path, leading to a variety of professions at many different levels, providing employment and skills.

What has been your biggest career challenge to date?
When you look after very high-end clients you have so many different priorities – their PR teams, management teams, security, then there’s the venue and ensuring that they are fully clued in on all relevant information and that the day runs smoothly. These are constant challenges for anyone, and now I am enjoying sharing that knowledge with my new team at The Hub.

What have you done today?
Today has been all about marketing and working with the great team here. we’ve done some work on the collateral we send to clients, updating images and copy. Then this evening is a networking event with industry colleagues – it’s always great to catch up and find out what everyone is working on at the moment and seeing how their year is progressing.

If you could pick any other field to work in what would it be?
A career in the hospitality business opens all sorts of doors and I have been fortunate to travel a lot with work through the years. If I had my time again I would like to focus on that aspect as there are so many great products out there in interesting places.

What’s next for you?
Having just joined The Hub I’m not really thinking of moving in the near future. However I would say I have aspirations on where I would like our business to be in the next few years and will take great satisfaction from realising those.