Career & Education

Sareika Jamieson: A star on the rise

Sandals South Coast Diamond Talent of the Year rises from strength to strength

Sunday, November 12, 2017

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WHITEHOUSE, Westmoreland — It is often said that we should work hard in silence and let our success make the noise, but on the night of May 19, as Sandals South Coast celebrated its top achievers, Sareika Jamieson's hard work would no longer be silenced.

Jamieson, a former club sandals agent who was recently promoted to front office supervisor, was declared Diamond Team Member of the Year for Sandals South Coast.

Growing up in the small village of Whitehouse, Westmoreland, the options for career advancement were fairly limited, despite her having seven Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate subjects and a Level II HEART/NTA certification. But then a friend introduced her to Sandals.

Jamieson joined the Sandals family in 2012 in much the same way as many of the resort's shining stars; through the Hospitality Training Programme (HTP).

“If you asked me at that point in 2012 what my vision for my career was, I would have had no idea,” the young woman told the Jamaica Observer. “I was just super excited for what may have been my best chance of joining the Sandals team. Prior to joining Sandals I worked as a cashier at a local restaurant in Whitehouse.”

Immediately following her six-week HTP training, Jamieson was hired as a Club Sandals concierge agent.

“At the time, I could not have asked for a better position at Sandals,” she said.

Concierge agents at Sandals Resorts cater to the needs of the resort's exclusive Club Level guests.

“Being a concierge agent allowed me to work closely with the other departments in order to create the best possible vacation experience for my guests,” she explained.

As the first line of information for Club Level guests, the concierge agent has to be well informed about the resort's various operations, from watersport activities and schedules to the restaurant menus and opening times of Island Routes« excursions, special add-ons and housekeeping services.

“I care about people and about making them happy, so I knew this position was perfect for me,” said Jamieson.

But not everyone thought she was perfect for the position. Despite the fact that she followed through well on her tasks and was eager to learn and improve, detractors only saw the soft-spoken, quiet, petite HTP who first walked through the doors of Sandals South Coast.

“People would often say, 'Sareika can't' or 'Sareika won't'. I had to work even harder to prove my abilities and that I am serious about everything that I do.

“Looking back now, those experiences have strengthened me for what is to come, and allowed me to tune out the doubters and use the constructive criticisms for my own development.”

Club Sandals Manager Ava Gardner remembers Sareika when she first ventured out as the 'quiet little shy girl' in the department.

“I would normally say to Sareika, 'Speak up and do not race your words because I am not hearing you,' then Sareika would ask, 'You are not hearing me?'' but in a tone that wasn't much higher than the first,” Ava reminisces fondly.

“Sareika would have to role-play multiple orientations for myself and the team prior to doing so for the guests, as she often struggled with adjusting her pitch for an audience.”

According to Gardner, what makes Jamieson so successful is her determination to make a difference and be a top performer, and her receptiveness to constructive criticism.

Today, as the Front Office Supervisor at Sandals South Coast, her responsibilities have expanded from guest services to monitoring systems and the reporting aspects of her department while focusing on motivating the young minds within the resort's front office and bell desks.

“Sometimes I look at the new hires and HTPs in my department and I see the shy, soft-spoken HTP that I was five years ago and I smile,” says Jamieson. “I guess in some ways things are coming full circle.”

The young woman, who is currently enrolled in an online advanced hospitality management programme, says she hopes to one day manage her own front office or concierge team.

As she continues to move from strength to strength, she takes with her the values that she learned from her parents — to always work hard and do whatever she is doing to the best of her ability.

As the front office supervisor and Diamond Team Member of the Year for the luxury-included Sandals South Coast, Jamieson has come a long way from the cash register at Ruby's restaurant in the small fishing village of Whitehouse, and if you should ask her what drives her success, she would share two things: passion and determination.




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